Iraq will not renew the operating licence of US security firm Blackwater Worldwide because of a 2007 incident involving its guards in which civilians were killed in Baghdad, an official said Thursday.
“The contract is finished and will be not be renewed by order of the minister of the interior,” interior ministry spokesman Major General Abdel Karim Khalaf told AFP.
Blackwater, a major State Department contractor in Iraq, is being expelled over the deaths of the Iraqi civilians at a busy Baghdad intersection on September 16, 2007, in a case that infuriated Iraqis, Khalaf said.
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“It is because of the shooting incident in 2007,” he said.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
An Iraqi investigation found that 17 civilians were killed and 20 injured in the incident, in which Blackwater guards opened fire while escorting an American diplomatic convoy through Baghdad. The firm says its guards were acting in self-defence.