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Iraqis React Angrily to Another Shooting by Foreign Security Firm

Iraqis are reacting angrily to the shooting on Tuesday of two women in Baghdad by foreign security contractors, the second such shooting in the past month. VOA's Jim Randle reports from northern Iraq.

Guards working for an Australian security company were traveling in a convoy. They say they warned a car to stay away, but when it failed to stop, they opened fire, killing two women and wounding two other people.

Television pictures have shown a blood-stained pavement and a white car with bullet holes.

Angry Baghdad resident Lika Saleh demanded to know why Iraq's government and legal system do not do more to protect the people.

Officials of the security firm, Unity Resources Group, expressed "deep regret" about the incident. Unity Resources has been working to protect people under contract with the U.S. government and its agencies in Iraq.

The latest deaths occurred shortly after Iraq's government gave U.S. officials a report demanding that the U.S. State Department end its Iraq work with the Blackwater Company, which was involved in last month's shooting that killed 17 people. The report also seeks compensation for the families of the dead.

Tuesday's incident seems likely to sharpen demands for greater control and accountability for the numerous security companies that protect diplomats, aid groups, and even U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

Meanwhile, tensions are increasing along the border between Iraq and Turkey as Iraq's northern neighbor tries to stop attacks from a Kurdish-separatist group it says is based inside Iraq.

The attacks are blamed on the Kurdistan Workers Party, which Washington and other governments consider a terrorist group.

Ankara is seeking Turkish parliamentary approval for a possible military operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

The United States has urged Turkey to work with Washington and Iraq to stop the terror attacks, and not to take unilateral military action in northern Iraq.

This resident of a Turkish border village says he wants governments to find a way to calm things down, because he is worried officials may close the border and stop the trade that brings commerce to this area.

He says people here do not want war, and they are suffering because of the tensions.

Kurdish residents of a village on the Iraqi side of the border say their village was hit by Turkish artillery late Monday. Kurdish officials say the cross-border shelling has been going on periodically for a couple of months.