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Iraq Won't Allow Blackwater to Operate in Country - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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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.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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