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Iraq clamps down on security contractors

Suadad al-Salhy reports for Reuters:

Iraq's government intends to impose tough restrictions on private security companies to rein in what amounts to a "giant army" threatening the country's stability, a senior security official said.

U.S. troops left Iraq in mid-December, but tens of thousands of private security guards remain, helping to protect mainly foreign workers and facilities in a country where daily violence is still a major threat.

Many Iraqis associate the private groups with atrocities carried out after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In one of the worst cases, five employees of security firm Blackwater were charged over the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians shot dead in Baghdad in 2007.

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