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Iraqi leader disputes Blackwater account

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's prime minister is disputing North Carolina-based Blackwater USA's version of a shooting that killed at last eleven people.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the U.S. Embassy should find another company to protect its diplomats.

Moyock, North Carolina-based Blackwater provides security for American diplomats and other civilian officials in Iraq. Blackwater says its contractors were responding to gunfire from insurgents.

But more witnesses are saying they saw Blackwater security guards firing at civilians in western Baghdad on Sunday. Two witnesses say they heard an explosion before the gunfire, suggesting a bomb may have targeted the American convoy, prompting the guards to start shooting.

American and Iraqi officials are forming a committee to try to study the incident.

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

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