A British security firm operating in Iraq has launched an investigation to find out if any of its employees were involved in video clips which appear to show Iraqi civilians being shot at.
Aegis, which won a $293 million contract from the U.S. government last year to operate in Iraq, said in a statement its inquiry would "investigate whether the footage has any connection with the company."
The video clips have been posted on the Internet in recent days. One of them is still visible on a company Web siteothers have been shown by British television broadcasters.
The clips appear to show civilian cars being shot at on roads in Iraq. One shows two cars veering off a road after being shot at from somewhere near the camera and another shows an unmarked car smashing into another.
Gunshots can be heard on the clips.
"Should any incident recorded on the video footage have involved Aegis personnel, this ... will be subject to scrutiny (by the company)," Aegis said.
Aegis is contracted to provide a range of services to the U.S. govern- ment including the protection of civilians and soldiers traveling in Iraq.
It says its rules of engagement "allow for a structured escalation of force to include opening fire on civilian vehicles under certain circumstances."
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.
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