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Blackwater: Employees 'acted lawfully'

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  • Private security firm Blackwater defends its actions in shootout
  • "Civilians" were in fact "armed enemies," U.S. security firm says
  • "Our people did their job to defend human life," Blackwater says
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(CNN) -- Private security firm Blackwater USA has issued the following statement in response to accusations leveled at it about an incident Sunday in Baghdad, Iraq:

"Blackwater's independent contractors acted lawfully and appropriately in response to a hostile attack in Baghdad on Sunday. Initial press accounts were inaccurate. For instance, the helicopters providing aerial support never fired weapons. There has been no official action by the Ministry of the Interior regarding plans to revoke licensing. The 'civilians' reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies and Blackwater personnel returned defensive fire.

"Blackwater regrets any loss of life but this convoy was violently attacked by armed insurgents, not civilians, and our people did their job to defend human life.

"Blackwater professionals heroically defended American lives in a war zone on Sunday and Blackwater will cooperate with any inquiry into this matter." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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