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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 04:25 GMT
Iraqi 'shooting' videos examined
US soldiers at a Baghdad bomb attack
Aegis were contracted to protect troops and civilians
Video clips which appear to show Iraqi civilians being shot at by British security firm employees have prompted an internal investigation.

The various video clips have been posted on the internet in recent days and appear to show civilian cars being shot at on roads in Iraq.

Aegis Defence Services Ltd said it would "investigate whether the footage has any connection with the company".

It remains unclear if the video is genuine or a hoax.

Aegis Defence Services Ltd won a $293m (169m) contract from the US government last year to operate in Iraq.

One clip shows two cars veering off a road after being shot at from somewhere near the camera.

Meanwhile, another shows an unmarked car smashing into another.

Gunshots can be heard on the clips.

Aegis said in a statement: "Should any incident recorded on the video footage have involved Aegis personnel, this ... will be subject to scrutiny [by the company]".

Security remit

Aegis is contracted to provide a range of services to the US government.

Its remit includes the protection of civilians and soldiers travelling in Iraq.

The company says its rules of engagement "allow for a structured escalation of force to include opening fire on civilian vehicles under certain circumstances".

A Foreign Office spokesman said officials had seen the video but there was nothing in them to indicate Aegis Defence Services staff were involved.

He added that the investigation was a matter for the company and the US authorities who had contracted them.




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