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Mon 2 Jan 2012 12:04 PM

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Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion

Prime minister declares Dec 31 as National Day after complete pullout of foreign forces from Iraq

Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
An Iraqi woman waves her national flag during a celebration marking the departure of US troops from Iraq in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighbourhood on Dec 30, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
Iraqis wave their national flag during a celebration marking the departure of US troops from Iraq (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
Prime minister Nuri al-Maliki declared a new dawn on Saturday as Iraq celebrated the departure of American troops at a ceremony held amid tight security and without Maliki's key political rivals (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
Iraq was engulfed in its worst political crisis in a year after the last US troops left on Dec 18 when Maliki sought the arrest of vice president Tareq Al Hashemi (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
Saturday marked the end of the 2008 security pact agreed by then-president George W Bush and was the last day for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
'I declare this day, the 31st of December, on which the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq is complete, as a national day,' said Maliki in a televised ceremony (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqis celebrate final exit of troops after US-led invasion
'It is Iraq's day. It is a feast for all Iraqis. It is the dawn of a new day in Mesopotamia ... Your country is free' (AFP/Getty Images)