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Blackwater begins pullout of Iraq Print
By Basil Adas, Correspondent - October 21, 2007

Baghdad: Iraqi Interior Ministry sources have said that American and British security firms have started to leave Iraq.

"We have information from Baghdad airport saying that 90 to 120 individuals working for the private security firm, Blackwater, are leaving Baghdad every day in an American military aircraft, this is in addition to more than 44 personnel from the UK-based Olive Group who left Iraq last week," Colonel Arkan Adnan, an Iraqi officer at the Interior Ministry told Gulf News.

Some Sunni and Shiite armed groups have declared that the forthcoming days will witness vindictive operations against all foreign private security convoys as revenge against the lives of innocent Iraqis who were killed by personnel working for these firms. Four Blackwater personnel were killed in the Sunni-dominated city of Fallujah, east of Baghdad, three years ago.

Cold-blooded murders

Abdul Nasser Al Kubaisi, a chieftain of one Fallujah tribe, told Gulf News: "It is likely that what happened in Fallujah three years ago will happen in Baghdad too after the cold-blooded murders committed against innocent Iraqis by members of these security firms. So, to avoid this happening, these companies should leave Iraq right away".

The American and British companies are facing resentment and indignation after the incident in Nisoor Square, where 17 Iraqis were killed, and the murder of two Iraqi women in the Al Masbah neighbourhood by personnel working for an Australian security firm.

Contracts with coalition

"Colombian, Chilean and Jordanian security companies may expand their work in Baghdad. These companies are known for their good record and their willingness to rectify mistakes carried out by previous American, Australian and British security firms who would often open fire in the street carelessly," sources at the information and investigations agency at the Iraqi Interior Ministry told Gulf News.

These sources added: "There are some 5,000 individuals working for Colombian, Chilean and Jordanian security firms and these companies have contracts with the coalition authorities, not with the Iraqi government."

"As long as the security situation in Iraq, especially in Baghdad, keeps deteriorating the Iraqi government cannot ask foreign private security firms to leave. Security companies such as Colombian, Chilean and Jordanian work well for the country's diplomats and businessmen. By this they are helping the Iraqi government unlike the British and American companies that act against the law and Iraqi authority simply because they are supported by the occupation forces," Hussain Al Jibouri, a lieutenant in the Iraqi Army told Gulf News.
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