Iraqi authorities have given the U.S. six months to cut ties with Blackwater, and are demanding custody of the private security guards who, according to a government investigation, recklessly opened fire on Iraqi civilians while escorting a State Department convoy.


The report says in the time since Blackwater took over security for US diplomats in 2003, its guards have killed 38 Iraqi civilians and wounded about 50 in shootings.

It also says Blackwater’s licence to operate in Iraq expired in 2006, meaning it had no immunity from prosecution under the laws introduced by the US authorities in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

The Iraqi panel led by the defence minister calls for the US to hand over Blackwater guards to face possible trial in Iraqi courts.

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