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Iraq Awaits Blackwater Probe Before Taking Action


A suicide bomber has killed the police chief of the Iraqi city of Baquba and at least six other people.

The bomber struck a meeting of local police and tribal leaders Monday in the city, north of Baghdad, as they gathered to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Earlier today, a suicide truck bomb killed at least six people and wounded 17 others at an Iraqi security checkpoint near the northern city of Tal Afar.

In other news, Iraq says it will wait for the results of an investigation into the killing of 11 Iraqi civilians in an incident involving the Blackwater USA security firm before taking any action.

Iraqi officials accuse Blackwater guards of shooting 11 Iraqis to death on a Baghdad street on September 16. Blackwater says its guards reacted lawfully to an attack on a U.S. diplomatic convoy they were escorting.

Sunday, Iraqi government official Tahseen Sheikhly said Baghdad will not take immediate steps to expel Blackwater. He said such a move would leave a "security vacuum" that would require diverting troops from combat missions.

Iraqi officials suspended Blackwater's Iraq license for several days after the September 16 shooting. But the firm resumed operations Friday, guarding some U.S. government convoys.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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