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Honduras to pull out of Iraq
April 20, 2004 14:25 IST
Following Spain, Honduras on Monday announced that it would pull out its troops from Iraq 'in the shortest time possible,' report agencies.
President Ricardo Maduro however did not specify a date the withdrawal of the 370 troops, who have been operating in the Shia stronghold of Najaf under Spanish command.
Spain's decision to pull out had been criticized by US President George W Bush, who said this would give "false comfort to terrorists or enemies of freedom in Iraq." But Spain's Defense Minister Jose Bono categorically announced that the 1300 Spanish troops in Iraq would be back home within six weeks.
In another setback to the Coalition, Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said he would the 451 Thai medical and engineering troops from Iraq if they are attacked. The troops are largely engaged in humanitarian work in Kerbala, 100 km south of Baghdad. "If we get hurt or killed, I will not keep them there," Thaksin told journalists Tuesday. Two Thai peacekeepers were killed in a truck bomb attack in December.