Iraq suicide bomb kills UK contractor Aegis, Two Americans seriously injured,
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 6, 2010
Attacker rammed bomb-laden car into convoy
A British security contractor was killed in Iraq today when a suicide bomber rammed a bomb-laden car into a convoy of four armoured SUVs in western Mosul.
Two other western contractors – believed to be Americans – and an Iraqi were seriously injured in the attack, while five passers-by suffered moderate wounds. All the contractors worked for the British company Aegis.
It is the first British fatality in Iraq in more than 12 months. Since the British Army withdrew from its garrison near the southern city of Basra in April last year, contractors – once regular targets of insurgent bombs – have been attacked far less frequently. Around 100 British officers remain in Iraq, helping to train the Iraqi Navy in the southern port of Umm Qasr.
However, Mosul has remained dangerous for contractors and the US military alike, with daily attacks on security forces and civilians reported for much of the past year.
As the US military prepares to withdraw its combat troops by the end of next month, heavily armoured and easily recognisable contractor convoys are set to present an increasingly attractive target to militants who see private security companies as an adjunct to the military.
An estimated 400 British contractors work in Iraq today, this is well down on the 2,000 plus who worked across the country during the height of the postwar chaos three years ago.
However the lure of reconstruction work stemming from the lucrative oil sector is expected to attract many more over the coming years.
Today’s blast took place near a bridge in western Mosul around 9am. The SUV was reportedly blown 40 metres into a nearby ravine. A second Aegis car was also reportedly damaged.
The officer in charge of operations in Mosul, Colonel Edan Ali, said he dispatched an Iraqi Army patrol to the scene, but it was kept at bay by contractors who would not let anyone near them.
“They were a company there for reconstruction,” he said. “The British flags on their cars were obvious.”
US forces evacuated the dead and injured by helicopter and closed the road. The British Embassy in Baghdad said it was providing consular assistance