Iraq says 43 arrested over Baghdad shooting

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BAGHDAD, Nov 19 (Reuters) An Iraqi government spokesman said today that Iraqi security forces had arrested 43 people, including two Americans and 31 other foreigners, over a shooting in which a woman was wounded in central Baghdad.

''This is a message to security companies that no one is above the law,'' government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.

Dabbagh said those arrested would appear before an investigating judge in Baghdad on Tuesday.

''Those involved will be put on trial and the innocent will be released,'' he said.

Dabbagh said a convoy of workers being escorted by guards working for an Iraqi-registered security company was travelling through Baghdad's Karrada district on their way to the airport when they opened fire at civilians, wounding the woman.

The four-vehicle convoy included 21 Sri Lankans, nine Nepalese and one Indian worker. The security guards included 10 Iraqis and two Americans.

It was not clear who fired at the woman.

Foreign security guards have been under the spotlight in Iraq since 17 Iraqis were killed in a shooting involving US firm lackwater in September.

REUTERS DKS RN0120

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