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Polish troops to exit Iraq this year

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  • NEW: Parked car bomb in Baghdad kills 5, wounds 8
  • NEW: One Iraqi killed in Basra during clash with British troops
  • Poland will withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of October, military says
  • There are around 900 Polish troops in the war-torn country, most in Diwaniya
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Poland will withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of October, according to a spokesman for the Polish military Thursday.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, right, paid a surprise visit to Polish soldiers in Diwaniya in December.

October 31 will be the last day of the Polish presence in Iraq, Major Dariusz Kacperczyk said, speaking from Warsaw.

The precise date of withdrawal and when security would be handed over to local forces in Qadisiya, the southern Iraqi Shiite province where most Polish troops in Iraq are based, are still being determined, he said.

"One thing we know for sure is that after the last day of October, there will be no more Polish soldiers in Iraq," Kacperczyk said.

Poland's new prime minister, Donald Tusk, has promised to bring the troops home from Iraq, where Poland has one of the larger non-U.S. contingents.

There are around 900 Polish troops in the war-torn country, with most in the Qadisiya capital of Diwaniya, some in Baghdad and others in the southern city of Kut.

Twenty-two soldiers from Poland have lost their lives during the nearly five year war in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, a parked car bomb detonated in a predominantly Shiite district on Thursday, killing five civilians and wounding eight other people, the Interior Ministry said.

The attack followed a string of roadside bombings that wounded 21 people, according to the Interior Ministry.

Those included a homemade bomb that exploded near a convoy of the deputy minister of electricity, wounding at least five people. The deputy minister in the convoy escaped injury, State TV reported.

Three roadside bomb explosions in different parts of Baghdad wounded 16 people. Two of those attacks targeted police.

In southern Iraq, one Iraqi was killed and five were wounded Thursday when British troops returned fire after an attack on their base in Basra, the British military said.

The early morning rocket and mortar attack left three British soldiers with "very minor injuries." Troops fired back, killing an Iraqi and wounding five others. British authorities are investigating the incident.

The British military handed over security control in Basra late last year to Iraqi security forces but maintains a presence in the region. Basra and other areas of southern Iraq have been rocked by fighting among rival Shiite militias.

Also Thursday, Coalition troops detained 11 people in raids in the volatile northern Iraqi city of Mosul and in the Baghdad region, the U.S. military said.

Troops in Mosul seized the alleged leader of an al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bombing network and two other people. They also captured two "suspected terrorists" in the city, which is soon to be the object of an Iraq-led offensive against militants.

Six other people were arrested in operations near Abu Ghraib, in Baghdad province, and in Baghdad. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Melissa Gray, Jomana Karadsheh and Carol Jordan contributed to this report.

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