Blackwater Responds To Allegations

Eastern Carolina based security firm Blackwater USA is responding after getting kicked out of Iraq.

The Iraqi government says it decided to ban the Moyock, Currituck County firm, after Blackwater security personnel were involved in a gun battle that killed eight Iraqi civilians Sunday.

Conflicting reports say a State Department convoy of six armored suv's --
driven by Blackwater security contractors -- was passing through a square when
a car bomb exploded. The convoy then reportedly came under small arms fire from several directions
-- one suv was disabled. The Blackwater guards piled out of the vehicles and
returned fire.

Iraq officials say two Blackwater helicopters hovering overhead fired on the
square -- and when the shooting stopped up to 11 Iraqi civilians had been
Killed. Blackwater vice president Marty Strong said his
contractors shot back only in self defense after taking heavy fire from
insurgents.

Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Maliki accused the Blackwater
contractors of randomly firing on civilians and vowed to prosecute.


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