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NEWS BRIEFS

Soldiers return from Iraq

NINETY-SIX Slovak troops returned from Iraq on August 9 after completing their service in the Slovak engineering unit deployed at Hilla, 80 km south of Baghdad, news wire TASR wrote.

Replacements for the returning soldiers arrived at the base last week, with Lt Col Anton Sládeček taking over command of the unit from Lt Col Karol Navrátil.

The unit was sent to Iraq last August to perform mine-clearing activities under the Polish-led multinational division. Its force was increased in January from 85 to 105 with around half of the troops being replaced.

In June, the unit had its first, and so far only, casualties when three of its members were among six soldiers killed in a mortar attack.

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