Source AP ©

2 American security guards and other foreigners detained by Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad

Iraqi soldiers arrested two American security guardsand some other foreigners traveling Monday in a private security convoy after they opened fire in Baghdad.

U.S. military and embassy officials had no immediate information about the report, which follows a series of recent shootings in which foreign security guards have allegedly killed Iraqis.

Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the convoy was driving on the wrong side of the road in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karradah when the shooting occurred.

Those arrested included two American guards, along with 21 people from Sri Lanka, nine from Nepal and 10 Iraqis, the Baghdad military spokesman said. He earlier said an Italian, nine from Bangladesh and one from India were detained but later retracted that statement.

"We have given orders to our security forces to immediately intervene in case they see any violations by security companies. The members of this security company wounded an innocent woman and they tried to escape the scene, but Iraq forces arrested them," al-Moussawi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

The role of private security guards has become controversial following a Sept. 16 shooting in which Blackwater Worldwide guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing its investigation into the shootings, although the Iraqi government has concluded that the security guards were unprovoked when the began shooting at an intersection at Nisoor Square in western Baghdad.

The North Carolina-based company, the largest private security firm protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, has said its security convoy was under attack before it opened fire.

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