Iraq Orders Blackwater Contractors Out of Country
Move affects 250 current and former employees
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 10, 2010 1:57 PM CST
In this Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007, file photo, Blackwater security contractors are seen inside a helicopter above central Baghdad.   (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Iraq has ordered about 250 former and current Blackwater employees to leave the country within seven days or face having their visas pulled. The order comes in the wake of a US judge dismissing criminal charges against five Blackwater guards accused in the 2007 shooting deaths of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad.

Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said the order targets security contractors who worked for Blackwater at the time of the shootout. He said all "concerned parties" were notified of the order three days ago. Blackwater, which at the time protected US diplomats in Iraq, is now known as Xe Services.