House passes bill making contractors in Iraq subject to U.S. courts

CAPITOL HILL (AP) -- The House has passed a bill that would make all private contractors working in Iraq and other combat zones subject to prosecution by U.S. courts. It's the first major legislation of its kind to pass since a deadly shootout last month involving employees of the North Carolina-based Blackwater company. Democrats called the 389-30 vote an indictment in connection with a shooting incident there that left eleven Iraqis dead. Senate Democratic leaders said they planned to follow suit with similar legislation and send a bill to President Bush as soon as possible. The FBI is currently leading an investigation into the September 16th shootout, although administration officials acknowledge they are unsure whether U.S. courts would have jurisdiction in the case or others like it. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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