Monday, September 17, 2007

US Mercenary Company Banned from Iraq after Killing Civilians

From BBC online
"Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

The Iraqi interior ministry said the contractor, based in North Carolina, was now banned from operating in Iraq. The Blackwater workers, who were contracted by the US state department, apparently opened fire after coming under attack in Baghdad on Sunday. Thousands of private security guards are employed in lawless Iraq. They are often heavily armed, but critics say some are not properly trained and are not accountable except to their employers.

The interior ministry's director of operations, Maj Gen Abdul Karim Khalaf, said authorities would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force. "We have opened a criminal investigation against the group who committed the crime," he told the AFP news agency. All Blackwater personnel have been told to leave Iraq immediately, with the exception of the men involved in the incident on Sunday..."
See also: Congress weighs rules for private security firms in Iraq