Ukrainian peacekeeping troops retreated from town El-Kut in Iraq.
The troops with the 20 representatives of American provisional authorities moved from the town to the main base of Ukrainian peacekeepers at the aerodrome. Previously, Ukrainians were standing guard over the three strategic objects in El-Kut: the bridge, the building of the provisional administration and TV center, but they were forced to leave.
On April 7 one Ukrainian soldier was reported dead and five wounded during the militants’ fire at the military armored vehicle. Soldier Ruslan Androshuk was wounded and died during the evacuation to the main base. He became the fourth Ukrainian peacekeeper killed in Iraq.
Al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army started firing at Ukrainian forces at night of April 7. About 12:30 am the militants started firing at the US provisional administration building with mortars. The Ukrainian troops managed to mark the positions of the attackers and fired back with grenade cup discharges. The mortar attack was suppressed.
At the same time, the militants attempted to dig under the concrete blocks of the barrier to set mines there. The Ukrainians revealed these intentions, fired at the militants and made them retreat. Many militants were killed.
Several minutes later the militants started firing at the provisional administration building and the post of the Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainians fired back with grenade cup discharges again. After this militants’ fire stopped.
Representatives of the provisional authorities asked the Ukrainians to retreat to save the soldiers’ lives and evacuate the provisional administration personnel.
In the morning of April 7, backed by the military helicopters and the other peace-keepers, Ukrainian troops started retreating. The Ukrainian unit conducted deceitful maneuver, and several hours later reached the main base of the Ukrainian peace-keepers at the aerodrome out of town. On the way the soldiers destroyed several weapon emplacements of the combatants.
Currently the Americans and Ukrainians are having a rest in a safe place.
On April 7 in the Ukrainian Parliament the Communists raised the issue of immediate withdrawing the Ukrainian peace-keepers from Iraq. “Our Ukraine” Parliamentary Fraction requested Defense Minister Evgeny Marchuk to report the situation of the Ukrainian peace-keepers in Iraq. “Our Ukraine” emphasized that before agreeing to deploy Ukrainian troops in Iraq, Ukrainian Parliament stipulated the condition that they were not going to be engaged in any fight.