The UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a surprise trip to Iraq on Wednesday, followed by the announcement that British troops will begin pulling out of Iraq at the end of this coming May.

Questions remained over whether the troops would be re-deployed to Afghanistan, which hosts 8,000 British soldiers – more than double the number present in Iraq. Pressure is also mounting on the government to confirm when it will hold a public inquiry into the Iraq invasion, now that a withdrawal date has been set.

During his whistle-stop visit yesterday, Mr Brown hailed the Iraq mission as a success.

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