US troops withdraw from Iraq despite fears over violence

The last group of vanguard American troops poured over the Iraqi border into Kuwait, marking the end of US battle operations despite rising violence and a lack of performance government in the country.

Under strict ready secrecy, 1,200 troops of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, passed over the Khabari border crossing just before dawn. Thousands additional were flown out of the country.

President Barack Obama marked the occasion with an open letter in which he persisted he would stick to his schedule for a final removal of military aid by the end of 2011, despite widespread anxiety over the deteriorating security condition.

A bomb on Tuesday killed 59 men queuing to link the army at a major base in Baghdad, just a few days following the Iraqi chief of staff called on American forces to stay put in the country until 2020.

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