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Philippine Contingent to Complete Iraq Withdrawal - 2004-07-18


The Philippine government says the remaining members of its humanitarian contingent in Iraq will be withdrawn as early as Monday.

Some of the 51 troops and police have already arrived in neighboring Kuwait

The contingent was due to leave IraReutersq on August 20th, but Manilla is pulling out early, hoping to save the life of a Philippine civilian hostage threatened by Iraqi insurgents.

The kidnappers said they will release the truck driver (Angelo de la Cruz), when the withdrawal is complete.

The United States and other allies have criticized the Philippine decision, saying it will only embolden terrorists.

In other developments, relatives of an Egyptian captive are waiting for news of his release after his Saudi employer agreed to his kidnappers' demands to withdraw from Iraq.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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