Rice orders full review of Iraq diplomatic security

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WASHINGTON, Sep 21 (Reuters) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today she has ordered a detailed evaluation of security policies for US diplomats in Iraq after a deadly shooting involving the US firm Blackwater.

The State Department would unveil shortly ''directives that I've given to the department for a full and complete review of how we are conducting our security details,'' Rice told a news conference in Washington.

''I take very seriously, and called up Prime Minister Maliki to regret, the loss of life,'' she told reporters in Washington.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki suggested the US Embassy should stop using Blackwater after what Iraq called a flagrant assault by the firm's contractors in which 11 people were killed while the firm was escorting a US Embassy convoy through Baghdad on Sunday.

Blackwater guards were back on the streets of Baghdad today after the US Embassy eased a three-day ban on road travel by US officials outside the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone.

US and Iraqi officials have launched a joint inquiry into Sunday's deadly shooting incident involving Blackwater, which employs about 1,000 contractors to protect the US mission and its diplomats.


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