BAGHDAD, (AP) – A senior Iraqi official says Iraq will not authorize Blackwater Worldwide to operate in the country anymore. Blackwater is the U.S. Embassy’s main security company.
Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf says 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 adds 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 was speaking to The Associated Press in a phone interview on Thursday.
A new U.S.-Iraqi security agreement gives Iraqi the authority to determine which Western security companies operate in Iraq.