Albania announces pulling its 218 troops out of Iraq

Albania's Defense Ministry says the country is pulling its 218 troops out of Iraq. Albanian troops have been serving in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul since 2003. Defense Ministry spokeswoman Albana Mustafaraj said Thursday the unit has ended its mission and will return home. She said Defense Minister Gazmend Oketa participated in a ceremony in Mosul where the Albanian flag was lowered. Albania also has small army units in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Chad. The predominantly Muslim nation was invited to join NATO in April and expects to become a full member next year.