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November 20, 2007 | Tina Susman, Times Staff Writer
Iraqi officials arrested 43 people after guards protecting a convoy shot and wounded a woman Monday, setting the stage for a showdown over foreign security companies' immunity from prosecution here. The incident in Baghdad's Karada district was relatively minor compared with recent shootings involving private security companies. The worst, in which at least 17 Iraqis were killed, occurred in September and involved guards working for Blackwater USA, which protects State Department officials here.
October 16, 2007 | Tina Susman, Times Staff Writer
In the days after Usama Abbass was shot dead in a Baghdad traffic circle by security guards working for Blackwater USA, his brother visited the U.S.-run National Iraqi Assistance Center seeking compensation. Like other Iraqis who have done the same, he learned a harsh truth: The center in Baghdad's Green Zone handles cases of Iraqis claiming death or damages due to military action, but not due to actions of private contractors such as Blackwater, who work in Iraq for the U.S.
October 19, 2007 | Ned Parker, Times Staff Writer
Iraq's largely Shiite Muslim south was jolted by more unrest Thursday when an explosion ripped through a high school, killing two students and wounding 15, while authorities announced the arrest of two Shiite members of a provincial council on charges of terrorism. Tensions also flared over the role of private security contractors after three civilians were wounded when foreign guards contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened fire on a taxi in northern Iraq.
October 11, 2007 | Christian Berthelsen and Said Rifai, Times Staff Writers
Still mourning the death of her husband, Marani Oranis navigated the treacherous streets in her makeshift taxicab, chauffeuring students and workers past bombed-out buildings and armed checkpoints in her 1990 Oldsmobile to earn enough to support her daughters. It was a path that brought Oranis, a former scientist for Iraq's Agriculture Ministry, into the cross hairs of a Western security convoy Tuesday afternoon along a main road in Baghdad's Karada district.
January 18, 2007 | Borzou Daragahi and Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writers
An American woman working for a U.S. nonprofit organization in Iraq to help strengthen the fledgling government was among four people killed Wednesday in a roadside ambush. The woman, whose name was withheld pending notification of her family, worked for the National Democratic Institute, a Washington organization that advises political parties around the world.
October 10, 2007 | Tina Susman and Christian Berthelsen, Times Staff Writers
Guards from a private security company opened fire Tuesday on a car that they said ignored commands to stop, killing two women and unleashing new Iraqi rage over the convoys that protect many foreigners here. The shootings in Baghdad's Karada neighborhood, coming less than a month after Blackwater USA guards were accused of shooting to death as many as 17 Iraqis in the capital, brought an immediate response from Iraq's government.
October 17, 2007 | Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Times Staff Writer
Peter Dishchekenian went to meet his parents at the airport early this week, wondering how to tell them the horrible news. He couldn't do it when they arrived -- his father, a retired computer programmer, was too happy, glowing after a two-week trip to Armenia. So Peter, 31, drove them home to Glendale first and sat them down in the living room. "There was a tragic accident in Iraq," he said in their native Armenian, his voice cracking. "It involved some contractors and Aunt Maro.
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