Under-fire security contractor Blackwater USA has denied media reports it was involved in illegally shipping automatic weapons equipment to Iraq. A newspaper in North Carolina has reported US federal officials are investigating claims made by two former employees who pleaded guilty to weapons charges. The men are said to be cooperating with investigators as part of a plea bargain. A Blackwater spokesman said the allegations were “baseless” and that the company had “no knowledge of any employee improperly exporting weapons,”
The claims put more pressure on the security firm whose staff were accused by the Iraqi government of killing 11 people in Baghdad this week. The shooting happened while the contractors were escorting a US embassy convoy through Baghdad. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has suggested the Embassy stop using Blackwater.