RealNews

Philippines, Reacting to Threat, Starts Troop Withdrawal

The Philippines today began withdrawing some of its small peacekeeping troops from Iraq, in response to the threat made by Iraqi insurgents that they would behead a Filipino driver if Manila did not withdraw its forces by July 20. “As of today, our headcount is down from 51 to 43,” Delia Albert, the Philippines foreign secretary, said on Philippines national television today, referring to the number of Filipino troops and police officers helping coalition forces in Iraq. The announcement came just hours after the Arab news channel Al Jazeera reported that a Jordanian militant group said it had beheaded one of two Bulgarian hostages held in Iraq. The group, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, threatened to kill the second hostage within 24 hours, Al Jazeera reported.Full Story

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