CIA terminates contract with Blackwater | world | Hindustan Times
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CIA terminates contract with Blackwater

The US Central Intelligence Agency has cancelled a contract with a security company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide that allowed the company to load bombs on CIA drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, The New York Times reported late on Friday.

world Updated: Dec 12, 2009 11:22 IST

The US Central Intelligence Agency has cancelled a contract with a security company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide that allowed the company to load bombs on CIA drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, The New York Times reported late on Friday.

Citing intelligence officials, the newspaper said the contract gave Blackwater employees an operational role in one of the CIA's most significant covert programs, which has killed dozens of militants with Predator and Reaper drones.

The contract with the company, now called Xe Services, was canceled this year by CIA Director Leon Panetta, the report said.

CIA spokesman George Little said Panetta had ordered that the agency's employees take over the jobs from Xe employees at the remote drone bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the paper noted.

Panetta had also ordered a review of all contracts with the company, according to the report

"At this time, Blackwater is not involved in any CIA operations other than in a security or support role," Little was quoted by The Times as saying.

The disclosure about the terminated contract comes a day after The Times reported that Blackwater employees had joined CIA operatives in secret operations against suspected Islamic militants in Iraq and Afghanistan.