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U.S. military says no Americans detained in Baghdad shooting
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17:24, November 20, 2007

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The U.S. military said Tuesday that there are no Americans among the detainees involved in a security guards shooting in Baghdad on Monday.

The U.S. military said in a statement that the 43 detainees came from Fiji, India, Iraq, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Iraqi security forces on Monday seized contractors of a foreign security company after they opened fire in central Baghdad.

An Iraqi Interior Ministry source said earlier that preliminary investigation found that two American contractors were among the detainees.

The U.S. military noted in the statement that the contractor appears to be ALMCO, which works for the Defense Department not as a security contractor, but a logistics and construction contractor, adding that the company has their own security guards.

The coalition forces have sent a team to escort them while they are being held by the Iraqi Army. Most of those detained are scheduled to be released soon, with the exception of those directly involved in wounding the civilian, it said.

According to the Interior Ministry source, the incident took place in the afternoon when the foreign and Iraqi security contractors of a construction company opened gunfire at a crowded road in Karradah neighborhood to find their way out of the traffic jam.

A woman was wounded by their fire, prompting the Iraqi security forces in the area to surround the convoy of the company and arrested all the employees and their security contractors, said the source, adding that angry bystanders on the spot threw stones on the arrested people.

Street shooting involving foreign guards became a sensitive issue after employees of major U.S. security contractor Blackwater opened fire and killed 17 Iraqis on Sept. 16 in a Baghdad street.

New York Times reported last week that the Federal Investigation Bureau found at least 14 people were killed without cause.

Late in October, the Iraqi government approved a law to deprive foreign security firms of immunity following several random shootings on Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. But the draft law is yet to be approved by the Iraqi parliament.


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