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Spanish troops attacked in Iraq


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All Spain's troops are due back home by May 27.
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BAGHDAD, IRAQ (CNN) -- A Spanish security patrol has came under fire from Iraqi insurgents after it accompanied Spanish forces leaving Iraq for Kuwait.

One soldier was injured after the insurgents attacked the patrol Thursday morning in Hamzah about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the town of Diwaniyah, according to the Spanish Defense Ministry.

The Spanish forces returned fire, killing one Iraqi, injuring another and taking one into custody, Cmdr. Jose Leon said.

The security patrol was returning to its base in Diwaniyah when it came under attack.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has vowed to pull out his country's remaining troops by May 27.

Zapatero campaigned on a promise to withdraw Spanish troops from the U.S-led coalition unless the United Nations was given military and political control in Iraq by June 30.

Zapatero's Socialists won a surprise victory in the election, held three days after bombs on Madrid commuter trains killed 190 people.

A videotape found two days after the Madrid blasts claimed they were carried out by al Qaeda in retaliation for Spain's support for the United States in Iraq.

At the time of the initial withdrawal announcement, there were 1,430 Spanish troops in Iraq. Nearly half of them have already left.

Earlier this month, U.S. troops took over operations at the Spanish military base in south-central Iraq, allowing Madrid's forces to prepare their withdrawal from the country.

Spanish forces still at the base in Diwaniya will concentrate on preparing their withdrawal, the Defense Ministry said in a statement, leaving U.S. troops to carry out patrols.


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