Ex-Blackwater guards kept working in Iraq: US cable
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 04, 2011, 22:09
  
Baghdad: A leaked US diplomatic cable says that "hundreds" of former employees of Blackwater, which was barred from Iraq over a deadly 2007 shooting, later worked with other firms guarding US diplomats here.

Iraq announced in January 2009 that it would not renew Blackwater's operating licence due to a September 16, 2007 incident in which guards protecting a US diplomatic convoy opened fire in Baghdad's busy Nisur Square, killing at least 14 civilians.

After that announcement, the US State Department did not renew its contract with Blackwater, which has renamed itself Xe, for security services in Iraq.

But US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks confirm that ex-Blackwater employees kept working in Iraq with other security firms.

"There are many former Blackwater employees at other private security companies in Iraq, most notably Triple Canopy and DynCorp, providing security services to us," said a January 4, 2010 cable from the US embassy in Baghdad, which was released on August 30.

Another cable from January 11, 2010 also expressed concern over Iraqi efforts to oust former Blackwater employees from the country, noting that it could reduce the capacity of Triple Canopy to provide embassy security.

"The embassy understands that Triple Canopy currently employs several hundred former Blackwater employees," said the cable, which was also released by WikiLeaks on August 30.

The cable said that Dyncorp, which provides aircraft support, also "employs dozens of ex-Blackwater employees."

PTI


First Published: Sunday, September 04, 2011, 22:02


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