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Iraq to pursue Blackwater shooting case

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Iraq to pursue Blackwater shooting case


Iraq has declared it will not give up the fight to bring US security firm Blackwater to Justice.

The move follows last week’s decision by an American judge to throw out charges against guards from the firm accused of killing 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007.

The case was dismissed on procedural errors.

Giving his first reaction since the ruling, Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki said: ‘‘For our part we have done what is necessary to protect our citizens and to punish those who committed the crime and we have formed committees and filed a lawsuit against Blackwater security firm, both in America and Iraq. We won’t abandon our right to punish this firm.’‘

The Blackwater employees insist they were ambushed at a busy motor section in western Baghdad. However, US prosecutors and many Iraqis claim the guards were unprovoked and let loose indiscriminately.

Hired by Washington to protect US diplomats, the killings strained relations between between Iraq and the US.

The shootings eventually led to the restructuring of Blackwater, now renamed Xe Services.

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