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By Paul Tait. BAGHDAD Reuters - Their helicopters buzz through the Baghdad sky, their patrols bristle with the latest weaponry and their armored vehicles carry the latest hi-tech gadgets. Armed security guards watch from a highway railing following a attack on Baghdad's airport road. Iraq has vowed to review all local and foreign security contractors, described by critics as mercenaries who act with impunity, after a shooting incident involving U. It said it will revoke the of the high-profile Blackwater and prosecute those involved in the incident.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry says 11 people were killed when Blackwater contractors fired randomly after mortar rounds landed near their convoy. Security sources in Baghdad say they operate in a murky world of little regulation where few companies hold up-to-date s and many bribe their way into work. The U. Based in North Carolina, Blackwater was founded in by former U. It says on its Web site www. Estimates of the of security contractors employed by mainly U. Fijians in blue helmets guard the U.
Australian, English and New Zealand accents abound, many of them former special forces soldiers who learned their martial skills for a fraction of their current wages. Some security companies try to keep low profiles, but Iraqis have long complained about the heavy-handed approach of others whose convoys of armored vehicles muscle their way through traffic and shoot at cars which come too close. Private security industry representatives in Britain said the Blackwater episode highlighted ambiguities in the status of security contractors and a need to update laws governing them.
Security firms still operate under memorandum 17 of the Coalition Provisional Authority, written in , which makes foreign security contractors immune from Iraqi law. David Claridge, managing director of London-based Janusian Security Risk Management which employs about 1, mostly Iraqi staff, said the rules on licensing private security companies PSCs had not been consistently applied. Otherwise it does introduce a level of uncertainty Claridge and several Baghdad security sources said it was widely known Blackwater was operating without a because they worked under the protection of the U.
But many believe Blackwater will survive the incident relatively unscathed, mainly because of its close ties to the State Department. Editor's Picks Updated. By Paul Tait 6 Min Read. Additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan in London.Nc beauty wanted for fla prince
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