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Blackwater Announces Name Change


The controversial security firm Blackwater, involved in the shooting of Iraqi civilians, is changing its name.

Company President Gary Jackson says "effective immediately" the name for the firm's parent company has been changed to Xe, pronounced "zee".

Subsidiaries of the U.S.-based firm are also being changed, with Blackwater Lodge and Training Center, best-known for preparing workers for overseas operations, now to be called the U.S. Training Center.

In a memo to employees Thursday, Jackson said the reorganization will help "create unique brand identities for its products and services."

The rebranding comes as five former Blackwater guards face charges in the shooting deaths of 14 unarmed civilians. A sixth man has already pleaded guilty in the 2007 incident, which resulted in Blackwater losing its license to operate in Iraq.

The former employees said they were ambushed by insurgents as they were protecting a U.S. convoy. Iraqi authorities say 17 civilians were killed in the incident, and witnesses say the attack was unprovoked.

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