Australia to quit bleeding Iraq

Australia’s Labor Party prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd said Nov. 30 he will pull the country’s 550 combat troops out of Iraq by the middle of 2008. Rudd was elected in a landslide Nov. 24, ousting veteran conservative prime minister John Howard, a supporter of the US-led war in Iraq. (AFP, Nov. 30) In the latest in the growing string of US atrocities in Iraq, soldiers opened fire on a car that tried to run a road block during a supposed operation against al-Qaeda in Baiji, 140 miles north of Baghdad, Nov. 27. A wounded child was found inside the vehicle, and was transferred to a military medical facility where he died. “We regret that civilians are hurt or killed while coalition forces work diligently to rid this country of the terrorist networks that threaten the security of Iraq and our forces,” said US military spokesman Commander Ed Buclatin. (AFP, Nov. 27)

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