Bulgarian troops return from Iraq

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) -- Bulgaria's last 155 troops stationed in Iraq have returned home.

The soldiers had been stationed in a camp near Baghdad where they were handling the security of detainees.

Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev participated Wednesday in a homecoming ceremony at Sofia International Airport.

He said that the Iraq mission, to which Bulgaria sent troops in 2003, had been a challenge for the country's army.

Thirteen Bulgarian soldiers and six civilians have died in Iraq since 2003. Bulgaria also has troops in international military missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia.

Separately, Estonia's parliament on Wednesday approved a one-year extension for the Baltic country's 37 troops and 3 officers stationed in Iraq.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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