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Iraq starts withdrawing from Kuwait border area

KUWAIT (Reuter) - Iraq has started withdrawing its citizens from a tense Kuwaiti border area where three Iraqi incursions have occurred in the past six weeks, United Nations military observers said yesterday.

The UN Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (Unikom) said: 'On 13 December we received a positive response from the Iraqi authorities about the removal of the Iraqi population and their assets on the Kuwaiti side of the newly demarcated border.'

In Umm Qasr, initial arrangements to repatriate Iraqis 'started smoothly on a small scale', Unikom said.