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Iraq | International | Anti-War

AFP: Blackwater security company back on the streets of Baghdad
by reposted
Friday Sep 21st, 2007 8:41 AM
Friday, September 21, 2007 : US private security company Blackwater was back on the streets of Baghdad, four days after being grounded following a shooting incident in which 10 people were killed, a US official said Friday.
Blackwater guards were giving protection to US embassy staff and other officials on "limited" missions, US spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo told AFP.

"We have resumed limited movement today. It is very limited and all missions need to be pre-approved," she said.

"The decision was taken by us in consultation with the Iraqi government. All convoys will be protected by PSDs (private security details). Yes, it is Blackwater."

The US embassy ordered all staff confined to the highly protected Green Zone in Baghdad on Tuesday following Sunday's shooting into a crowded square by Blackwater guards while escorting a US civilian convoy through the capital.

Iraqis say that civilians were killed, while Blackwater insists the convoy it was guarding came under attack by insurgents.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanded that Blackwater be replaced for the security duties. The firm provides guards for US officials and civilian employees in the war-torn country.

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by deanosor
( deanosor [at] mailup.net ) Saturday Sep 22nd, 2007 6:39 AM
...that the U.S. Embassy needs Blackwater to protect it, when they have the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force to protect them. The Marines (i thought) used to do this job. All the people who say "Support the Troops" should be up in arms about the privatization of "their" troops' jobs. Does the State Department not trust the Pentagon to protect it? Or is this about giving more money to Bush + Cheney's friends?
by IOL (reposted)
Saturday Sep 22nd, 2007 11:57 AM
BAGHDAD — Despite a public and government outcry, US security company Blackwater was back on the streets of Baghdad on Friday, September 21, four days after being grounded over a fatal shooting incident.

"We have resumed limited movement today. It is very limited and all missions need to be pre-approved," US spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Blackwater guards, whom a furious Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki wanted replaced after they opened fire in Baghdad Sunday killing 11 civilians, were on Friday protecting US personnel, she added.

Nantongo said the decision to allow "mission essential" trips by US personnel was taken after consultation with Iraqi authorities.

"All convoys will be protected by PSDs (private security details). Yes, it is Blackwater," she said.

The US embassy ordered all staff confined to the highly protected Green Zone in Baghdad on Tuesday following Sunday's shooting into a crowded square by Blackwater guards escorting a US civilian convoy through the capital.

Maliki suggested the US embassy should stop using Blackwater and said he would not allow Iraqis to be killed "in cold blood," pledging to review the status of all security firms after what it called the flagrant assault by Blackwater contractors.

The shooting has incensed Iraqis who regard the tens of thousands of security contractors working in the country as private armies that act with impunity.

Jose Luis Gomez del Prado, head of a UN workgroup on the use of mercenaries in Iraq, estimates that at least 160 companies are in the country, employing between them 35,000 to 40,000 people.

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