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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iraq Lifts Private Contractor Immunity

BAGHDAD -- The Iraqi government on Tuesday approved draft legislation lifting immunity for foreign private security companies, sending the measure to the parliament, a spokesman said.

The question of immunity has been one of the most serious disputes between the U.S. and Iraqi governments since a Sept. 16 shooting incident involving Blackwater guards that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

The government's decision followed reports that the U.S. State Department had promised Blackwater immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's shooting. U.S. State Department officials declined to confirm or deny that immunity had been granted.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the draft law approved Tuesday would overturn an immunity order that was issued by L. Paul Bremer, who ran the U.S. occupation government until June 2004.