Denmark pulls out Iraq troops
July 26, 2007

COPENHAGEN. Denmark has withdrawn most of the 430 troops it has stationed in Iraq earlier than expected, a report said Wednesday quoting the Danish military.

The battalion, stationed in the southern city of Basra since 2003, under British command, was supposed to begin pulling out its soldiers on August 10.

But, according to a report by the Iraqi correspondent of the Danish TV channel TV2, sustained attacks by insurgents have led to most of them heading home early.

Danish military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jes Rasmussen denied that the early withdrawal was due to security reasons.

"We have found a way of packing our bags more quickly than expected and the soldiers have worked hard for that," he told TV2.

More than 250 Danish soldiers had travelled to Kuwait en route back to Denmark, it was reported. Another 150 soldiers were expected to leave Basra soon on a date that could not be given for security reasons.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced in February that Denmark would withdraw the 430 troops it has operating under British command in northern Basra in August this year.

A unit of four Danish helicopters and 55 soldiers will work alongside the British until December.

Original Text