December 16, 2008 / 2:13 PM / 12 years ago

Bosnia withdraws troops from Iraq

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia withdrew troops from Iraq this week, ending the deployment of its armed forces there after three years, Bosnia’s armed forces deputy commander said Tuesday.

“The Iraq mission was very successful and Bosnia has fulfilled its obligations under NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program,” Brig. Gen. Sakib Foric told a news conference.

Foric said that nearly 290 soldiers had rotated through the Iraq mission since the country’s presidency decided that Bosnia’s army units should join the international force at NATO request in 2005.

In August, a 49-man infantry unit was deployed to Baghdad to guard the U.S. Military Camp Victory. Another 36-man unexploded ordnance removal squad had been deployed earlier to Diwaniyah area in southern Iraq.

No Bosnians died during the deployment; one was slightly injured.

In a bid to bolster its bid for NATO membership, Bosnia has announced it would contribute soldiers to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan next year.

NATO leaders awarded Bosnia in April an “intensified dialogue” on its membership aspirations, a step before a formal membership plan is granted. The country is expected to put forward “action plans” to prepare for membership.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Adam Tanner

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