British security guard shot dead in Iraq

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A British security guard has been shot dead near Kirkuk, it was confirmed yesterday. The man, an employee of the London-based ArmorGroup security firm who has not been named, was killed on Monday in the northern enclave of Taza.

ArmorGroup, a British security contractor, confirmed that an employee "died of gunshot wounds suffered during an incident in Taza, northern Iraq".

"An investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing and we will not comment further until that has been concluded. We can confirm that the man's relatives have been informed," ArmorGroup said.

The company said further details were withheld at the family's request.

The Foreign Office also confirmed the man's death and said embassy staff were investigating how he was killed. He had been involved in securing an area in Taza, where engineers were working on infrastructure rebuilding projects.

An ArmorGroup spokesman said: "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the employee."

Two separate car bombings killed at least 40 people in Kirkuk last month.

The area has been comparatively quiet during the current increase in insurgency. However, Kurdish and Iraqi contractors involved in reconstruction projects or dealing with the US military have been abducted by the Sunni militia and some have been beheaded. A number of Turkish truck-drivers have been killed in hijacking attempts on the route from Kirkuk to Baghdad.