Security Crew in Deadly Baghdad Shootout
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials have condemned the actions of security contractors who were guarding a State Department convoy that came under fire in downtown Baghdad on Sunday. The unnamed contractors are accused of firing indiscriminately and escalating the violence, which killed nine civilians.
Update: The security firm in question was Blackwater USA.
Iraqi officials alleged that the response by the security company, which was not named, involved excessive force and killed innocent civilians. The Iraqi government will investigate the incident and “probably will withdraw the authority for this security company in Baghdad,” said Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman.
“The security company contractors opened fire randomly on the civilians,” he said. “We consider this act a crime.”
Early Monday, Iraqi state television reported that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had condemned the “criminal operation” in Mansour and said he would “punish” the private security company and shut down its operations.