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BBC: US contractors in Iraq shootout
Monday, September 17, 2007 : Officials are investigating a shooting incident in Baghdad in which at least eight civilians were reported killed by private US security contractors. Both the US embassy in the Iraqi capital and the Iraqi interior ministry say...
The fire fight broke out in the middle of the day in a busy area
Both the US embassy in the Iraqi capital and the Iraqi interior ministry say they are looking into the incident.
The private security workers, who were employed by the US State Department, apparently opened fire after their convoy came under attack on Sunday.
At least 13 people were also injured in the shooting in a busy part of Baghdad.
It broke out at about 1230 local time on Nisoor Square in the predominantly Sunni neighbourhood of Mansour, a police officer told the Associated Press news agency.
A witness said the shooting erupted after an explosion.
"We saw a convoy of SUVs passing in the street nearby. One minute later, we heard the sound of a bomb explosion followed by gunfire that lasted for 20 minutes between gunmen and the convoy people who were foreigners and dressed in civilian clothes.
"Everybody in the street started to flee immediately," Hussein Abdul-Abbas, a local shop owner, told AP.