Archbishop hopes for swift return of Salvadoran soldiers in Iraq

.- Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador said this week he hopes the war in Iraq will end soon so that the Salvadoran troops stationed there will be able to return home. “I hope it ends soon, not only the Salvadoran troops’ stay there, but the whole conflict, and that Iraq takes charge of its own situation and operates as a responsible nation,” the archbishop told reporters.

At the conclusion of Sunday Mass, Archbishop Saenz Lacalle thanked God that no Salvadoran troops had been hurt in  the recent attacks.  The country’s contingent “is carrying out a humanitarian mission in a well-guarded area (Al Hillah).  It seems there is not a lot of danger, but we should pray much that nothing happens to them.”

El Salvador is the only Latin American country with troops in Iraq.  The first contingent was deployed in August of 2003 and currently there are 379 troops in that country.  This coming August President Elias Antonio Saca will decide whether to send a fifth contingent.

Since being deployed to Iraq, two Salvadoran troops have died.

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