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Iraq troop deaths expose divisions in Prodi alliance

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Iraq troop deaths expose divisions in Prodi alliance

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The body of a Romanian soldier killed along with three Italians in Iraq has been flown home. The 28-year-old corporal was promoted to the rank of lieutenant during a ceremony attended by President Traian Basescu at a military airport near Bucharest. The four died in a roadside bomb blast yesterday.

The killings were the deadliest attack on Italian troops since 2003. A fourth Italian soldier was wounded when the blast hit their convoy near Nassiriya, the city where Italian forces in Iraq are based. The deaths expose divisions within Romano Prodi’s government-in-waiting. He must balance demands from the far left of his coalition for an immediate troop withdrawal with his own promise to gradually cut numbers there.