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Mercenaries worked for UK in Iraq - an investigative story [View All]

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 03:04 PM
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Mercenaries worked for UK in Iraq - an investigative story
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By Antony Barnett, Solomon Hughes and Jason Burke

(OBSERVER NEWS SERVICE) : Mercenaries accused of planning a coup in an oil-rich African state also worked under contract for the British government providing security in Iraq, raising fears about the way highly sensitive security work is awarded.

The UK government's Department for International Development (DfID) signed a pounds sterling 250,000 deal last summer with the South-African based Meteoric Tactical Solutions (MTS) to provide `close protection' for department staff, including bodyguards and drivers for its senior official in Iraq.

Two of the firm's owners were arrested in Zimbabwe last March with infamous British mercenary and former SAS officer Simon Mann. The men are accused of plotting an armed coup in Equatorial Guinea. MTS is based in Pretoria and run by former members of South African special forces. Its owners are Lourens `Hecky' Horn, Hermanus Carlse and Festus van Rooyen. Horn, the firm's Iraq contact when the contract with Britain was signed, is now in Chikurubi prison in Zimbabwe with Carlse.

The pair appeared in court on 23 March accused of forming an advance party for the coup with Mann. It is alleged they arrived in the Zimbabwe to buy weapons for a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea. The trio tried to purchase 61 AK-47 rifles, 45,000 rounds of /ammunition, 1,000 rounds of anti-tank ammunition and 160 grenades.

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http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/0012004060711...
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