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Private Security Guards Involved in Another Iraq Shooting

Guards from a foreign private security company have been involved in another shooting in Iraq.

Iraqi police say three Iraqi civilians, including a Kurdish journalist, were wounded when the private guards fired on a taxi that was approaching their convoy, at Qarah Anjir, east of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

U.S. officials in Iraq say the private guards were providing security for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers said the guards work for the British security firm, Erinys.

There have been mounting calls for Iraq's government to tighten controls on private security contractors since guards from the U.S. firm Blackwater were involved in a September 16 incident in Baghdad in which 17 Iraqis were killed.

An Iraqi spokesman visiting Washington Thursday said his government would like Blackwater to leave Iraq. He said all security companies should be held accountable for their actions in Iraq.

Blackwater provides security for U.S. diplomats and other civilians.

In other Iraq-related developments, the Estonian government has decided to keep a military unit in Iraq with the U.S.-led coalition for another year. The mandate of the 40 troops was set to expire in December.

Another Baltic country, Lithuania, says it is sending a new unit of about 40 soldiers to Iraq to serve for six months in an area southeast of Baghdad. Lithuania's previous combat unit of about 50 soldiers left Iraq in early August.

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