Iraq Celebrates Withdrawal; Four U.S. Soldiers Die

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's "National Sovereignty Day" in Iraq.

The public holiday marks the withdrawal of American troops from Baghdad and other Iraq cities and the assumption of security responsibilities in the cities by Iraqi forces as part of a U.S.-Iraqi security pact.

Iraqis marked the day with an overnight display of fireworks and thousands attended a party in a park where singers performed patriotic songs.

President Jalal Talabani says the day could not have happened without the help of the United States, which invaded Iraq in 2003 and ousted Saddam Hussein -- who was later convicted by an Iraqi court and executed in Dec. 2006.

While describing June 30 as a "glorious page" in Iraq's history, Talibani warns that "security will not be achieved completely without proper political environment and without a real national unity and reconciliation."

The U.S. military announced that four Baghdad-based U.S. soldiers were killed in combat yesterday.

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