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the Associated Press

Iraqis Authorize Government to Sue Blackwater

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BAGHDAD - Iraq's government has started collecting signatures for a class-action lawsuit from victims who were wounded or lost family in incidents involving the U.S. private security firm formerly known as Blackwater.

The head of the prime minister's legal consultation office said Monday the government will seek compensation for a string of incidents, including the 2007 killing of 17 civilians in Nisoor Square.

The official, Fadhil Mohammed Jawad, says there is no deadline to receive the authorizations. He refused to give a date for the lawsuit.

On Dec. 31, a U.S. federal judge threw out criminal charges against the company, now known as Xe Services, regarding the Nisoor Square killings, citing mistakes by prosecutors.

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