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11 Feb, 2010 15:40

Iraq expels 250 Blackwater security guards

Iraq has ordered 250 Blackwater security guards from the country within a week, following a US court’s dismissal of manslaughter charges against five company members in connection with killing 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry says both current and former employees of Blackwater, one of three private US security contractors hired to protect diplomats in Iraq, were told of their expulsion a few days ago.

The decision is highly significant, Yasmin Khan from the campaign group “War on Want” told RT.

“The decision demonstrates the negative impact of the destabilizing force these companies have,” she said. “What we saw in Iraq during the US- and UK-led invasion was private military companies running riot and committing hundreds of human rights abuses.”

Now, when the US is sending more troops to Afghanistan and more companies of this kind are likely to be used, it is important to have these companies regulated more than ever, Khan added.

Blackwater is now called Xe Services