The alleged killing of Iraqi civilians by guards from contractor Blackwater USA will make it harder for all private security companies to operate in the country, officials from other firms involved in the work said Wednesday.
But they welcomed the idea that the shooting could prompt greater regulation of security contractors in Iraq, who are widely used by foreign officials and companies for protection, but are viewed by many Iraqis as mercenaries.
Anger is rising in Iraq over the shooting by Blackwater security guards near a State Department motorcade in Baghdad over the weekend. Details have not been released, and unconfirmed reports vary from Blackwater guards opening fire on a car that failed to follow an order to stop, to a gunfight between Blackwater employees and militants.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defense said 20 Iraqis were killed.