- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq’s government spokesman says the former Blackwater Worldwide security firm can have no long-term role in the country.

Ali al-Dabbagh has also promised to press for compensation for the September 2007 shootout that left 17 Iraqis dead and 20 wounded.

His comments Tuesday follow reports that the North Carolina-based company _ now known as Xe (pronounced ZEE) _ will continue some air and ground work in Iraq at least until the summer. The State Department earlier said it would stop using the company for diplomatic protection on May 7.

Iraqi authorities had ordered the company to leave Iraq, but al-Dabbagh says that delays in getting new teams in place requires the company to remain longer.

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