Jan 29, 2009

Blackwater Thrown Out of Iraq

Iraq: Blackwater not welcome

U.S. embassy told to find new security after contractors' 'improper conduct'

The Associated Press
updated 4:54 a.m. ET, Thurs., Jan. 29, 2009

BAGHDAD - Iraq will not authorize Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. Embassy's main security company, to operate in the country anymore, a senior Iraqi official said Thursday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said his ministry's decision was sent last Friday to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and "they have to find a new security company."

Khalaf added that the decision was prompted by what he called the guards' "improper conduct and excessive use of force" in a shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured dozens of others in 2007.

He spoke to The Associated Press in a phone interview.

A new U.S.-Iraqi security agreement gives Iraq the authority to determine which Western security companies operate in Iraq.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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