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June 30, 2009
U.S. troops withdraw from Iraqi cities
BAGHDAD (AP) - The American military completed a withdrawl from Iraq's cities on Monday as part of a U.S.-Iraqi security pact. It marks the first major step toward withdrawing all American forces from the country by Dec. 31, 2011. President Barack Obama has said all combat troops will be gone by the end of August 2010. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said in a nationally televised address that "those who think that Iraqis are not able to protect their country and that the withdrawal of foreign forces will create a security vacuum are committing a big mistake." The Iraqi government has named June 30 National Sovereignty Day and declared a public holiday. (21 images)

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Iraqi soldiers celebrate following a parade to mark the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities and towns across the nation on June 30, in the southern city of Karbala, 110 kms south of the capital of Baghdad. Iraqi forces took control of towns and cities across the country to replace departing U.S. forces, a milestone in the country's recovery six years after the U.S.-led invasion. AFP / Getty Images / Mohammed Sawaf


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Iraqi Army and police parade in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 30. U.S. troops pulled out of Iraqi cities on Tuesday in the first step toward winding down the American war effort by the end of 2011. Formations of Iraqi Army and police launched a military parade marking the pullout anniversary, while military music was played. AP / Karim Kadim



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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the secure "green zone" in central Baghdad on June 30, to mark the withdrawal of the U.S. military from the towns and cities around the nation. AFP / Getty Images / Ali Al-Saadi



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Iraqi security forces patrol in central Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 30. AP / Khalid Mohammed



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Iraqi security forces patrol in central Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 30. AP / Khalid Mohammed



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Iraqis police and soldiers celebrate on the streets of the southern city of Basra some 550 kms from the capital Baghdad on June 30, as U.S. troops withdraw from Iraqi towns and cities across the nation. AFP / Getty Images / Essam -Al-Sudani



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Rice is thrown in the air as Iraqis police and soldiers celebrate on the streets of the southern city of Basra some 550 kms from the capital Baghdad on June 30. AFP / Getty Images / Essam -Al-Sudani



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Iraqi men and women cheer and clap during festivities celebrating the pull out of U.S. troops from cities and towns on June 30 in the Zawra Park in central Baghdad on June 29. Thousands of Iraqis partied in Baghdad amid massive security to mark the imminent pullout of U.S. troops from urban areas and to celebrate the conflict-hit nation's reclaimed sovereignty. AFP / Getty Images / Ali Al-Saadi



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Fireworks light up the night sky above Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 29. U.S. troops will be out of Iraqi cities by tomorrow Tuesday June 30 in the first step toward winding down the American war effort by the end of 2011. AP / Khalid Mohammed



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Iraqi National Police patrol in central Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 30. AP / Hadi Mizban



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Iraqi security officer parade during a display in the southern city of Najaf ,160 kms south of Baghdad, on June 30, marking the withdrawal of U.S. troops from cities and towns. AFP / Getty Images / Qassem Zein



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Iraqi security forces celebrate in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 70 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 29. AP / Karim Kadim



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Iraqis celebrate in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 29, to mark the milestone of U.S. troops leaving Iraqi cities, fireworks colored Baghdad's skyline and thousands of people attended a party in a city park late Monday where singers performed patriotic songs. AP / Khalid Mohammed



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Iraqi security forces celebrate in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 70 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 29. AP / Karim Kadim



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Iraqi security forces celebrate in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 70 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 29. AP / Karim Kadim



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Iraqi soldiers hold up their national flag as they parade in the ground of the old Iraqi Defence Ministry, the last of the 86 positions occupied by the U.S. military in Baghdad, on June 29. AFP / Getty Images / Ali Al-Saadi



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Iraqi soldiers march during a parade in the ground of the old Iraqi Defence Ministry, the last of the 86 positions occupied by the U.S. military in Baghdad since the US-led invasion in 2003, on June 29. AFP / Getty Images / Ali Al-Saadi



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An Iraqi youth serves tea to U.S. Army Spc. Adam Steele, 30, from Spokane, Wash., of 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, during a patrol in Baqouba Iraq, Monday, June 29. AP / Maya Alleruzzo



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U.S. soldiers check their weapons prior to a last mission to visit an Iraqi police commander on June 29, in the northeastern town of Baquba, 60 kms from Baghdad. AFP / Getty Images / Ahamad Al-Rubaye



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A U.S. soldier carries a stuffed toy to give to an Iraqi child as they go on a last mission to visit an Iraqi police commander on June 29, in the northeastern town of Baquba, 60 kms from Baghdad. AFP / Getty Images / Ahmad Al-Rubaye



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U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment are seen at a reenlistment ceremony for a comrade in Baqouba Iraq, Monday, June 29. Tuesday marks the deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities. AP / Maya Alleruzzo



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