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World Briefing / Iraq

British contractor held in co-workers' killing

August 10, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Iraqi authorities arrested a British contractor in the shooting deaths of two co-workers in Baghdad's protected Green Zone.

The British suspect could be the first Westerner to face an Iraqi trial on murder charges since a security pact lifted the immunity that foreign contractors had enjoyed for most of the war.

A spokesman for ArmorGroup Iraq confirmed that two employees, identified as Paul McGuigan of Britain and Darren Hoare of Australia, were killed early Sunday.

Iraqi officials said that the gunman shot the two contractors during a quarrel and then wounded an Iraqi while trying to flee the company's compound inside the capital's vast security zone, where Iraqi ministries and the British and U.S. embassies are located.

"It started as a squabble," said Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim Moussawi. "The suspect is facing a premeditated murder charge. The matter is now in the hands of Iraqi justice."

He said the suspect was being held at an Iraqi police station in the Green Zone.

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