New Iraq Bill Would Lift Contractor Immunity

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq is taking steps to lift immunity granted to foreign private security companies.

The government today approved draft legislation to remove the immunity, and is sending the measure to parliament.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to push through the measure. Public anger is growing over the Blackwater shootings in Baghdad last month. Seventeen civilians were killed. Several other Iraqi civilians have died, allegedly at the hands of foreign contractors.

The State Department is reportedly promising Blackwater bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's shooting.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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