By- Suzie-Q @ 4:00 PM MST
A woman passes a burned car in Baghdad where Blackwater guards killed 17 in September.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The U.S. State Department’s renewal of Blackwater’s contract to provide security in Iraq “is bad news,” an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said.
Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 people, including women and children, last September, prompting an outcry and protest from Iraqi officials.
“This is bad news,” al-Maliki adviser Sami al-Askari said. “I personally am not happy with this, especially because they have committed acts of aggression, killed Iraqis, and this has not been resolved yet positively for families of victims.”
About 25,000 private contractors from three companies protect diplomats, reconstruction workers and government officials in Iraq. Under a provision put into place in the early days of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, security contractors have immunity from Iraqi prosecution.
Al-Askari said he would push for the Iraqi government to contest the contract renewal.