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  • Private Security Scrutiny

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

    I really wish I knew what their rules of engagement are...

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Gunfire from a private security convoy on Tuesday killed two Iraqi women traveling in a car in Baghdad, Interior Ministry sources told CNN.

    Although the name of the security firm was not yet released, one of the ministry officials described it as a "Western private security company."

    The U.S. Embassy press office would only say "there is no embassy connection to the incident."

    The embassy comment was sparked by a September 16 shootout in which 17 people were reportedly killed. Iraqi officials say private security contractor Blackwater USA, which is under contract to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq, indiscriminately opened fire.

    Blackwater says its contractors were part of a U.S. State Department security entourage that came under fire in a Baghdad square.That incident put private security contractors under heightened scrutiny.

    Brig. Gen Abdul Karim Khalaf, Interior Ministry spokesman, said Tuesday's incident occurred around 2:45 p.m. Another Interior official said it occurred near the former German Embassy building in the Karrada district in central Baghdad around 2:30 p.m. The embassy is now housed elsewhere in the capital.

    Khalaf said the two victims were Christians. He told CNN that 19 bullets hit the vehicle in which the women were traveling.

    The other official said they were in an Oldsmobile. Both sources said the security detail consisted of four white 4x4 vehicles.

    A joint U.S.-Iraqi committee met for the first time Sunday to begin reviewing security operations. It plans to issue a report offering recommendations to both the Iraqi and U.S. governments with the goal of making sure that security details don't endanger public safety.

    The Blackwater incident produced an outcry in Iraq and raised questions about the accountability of foreign security contractors in Iraq, who, under an order laid down by the U.S.-led occupation government, are not subject to Iraqi law for actions taken within their contracts.

    Also Tuesday, two suicide truck bombs detonated minutes apart in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji, killing at least 22 people and wounding 30 on Tuesday, in what police said was a coordinated attack on anti-insurgent Sunni tribal leaders.

    Violence also struck neighboring Nineveh province, where gunmen assassinated a provincial police official, and in Baghdad, where bombers killed 12 civilians.

    The first of the two Baiji blasts rocked the home of Col. Saad al-Nufous, a tribal leader and the city's police chief. Al-Nufous was unharmed, although family members were among the casualties, police said.

    The blast of the device was so powerful, according to The Associated Press, it smashed all the home's windows and ripped its doors from their frames.

    "It was a really huge explosion, we panicked and ran out, but for minutes, we couldn't see anything because of the heavy smoke," said Saleh Jassim Moussa, 38, a government employee, who spoke with AP. "We're still digging through the rubble, looking for others."

    The second bomb struck the al-Rahim mosque as several tribal leaders were praying, said police. The blast targeted the city leader of the Salaheddin Awakening Council, a Sunni group that joined the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq, said an Interior Ministry official.

    "This is yet another failed attempt to break the will of the Iraqi people who just want to go on with their lives without violence, raise their children, earn a living and coexist together in a peaceful manner," said U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Michael O. Donnelly, according to The Associated Press.

    The attacks struck at about 6:30 a.m. and prompted Salaheddin provincial police to impose curfews. The province is located about 130 miles north of Baghdad.

    Last week, a senior member of the Salaheddin Awakening Council, Sheik Muawiya Jebara, also was assassinated in a bombing outside Samarra. An al Qaeda in Iraq front group claimed responsibility.
    sigpicMy ideal security vehicle and uniforms:

  • #2
    For some reason all this recent scrutiny of private security in Iraq seems purely political to me. Although I have never been there I work with several people who did tours in Iraq with either the army or marines. Truth is both the private security contractors and military are responsible for lots of civilian deaths either accidental or purposefully. It is war, its going to happen. I guess the media was running short on news stories so they decided to stir something up.

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    • #3
      I think this has more to do with certain Iraqi officials getting shorted on their kickback from certain security companies, than with anything else.
      formerly C&A

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