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Turkish-Led Peacekeeping Mission Ends in Northern Iraq - 2004-10-03

A seven-year Turkish-led peacekeeping mission in northern Iraq's Kurdish region has officially ended.

The mission, established by the United States, Turkey and Britain, disbanded Sunday in a ceremony attended by British officials and coalition military commanders.

The force monitored a cease-fire line set in 1997 to end years of fighting between Iraq's two main Kurdish political parties. The area was outside the control of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last year, Kurdish leaders have repeatedly called for peacekeepers to leave.

In other developments, about 100,000 Kurds demonstrated Saturday in the northern city of Sulemaniyah. Protesters demanded a Kurdish voter referendum to determine whether the region remains part of Iraq or becomes a separate Kurdish homeland.