July 15, 2007 07:30pm
TWO Australian security contractors have been killed and another injured in an explosion in Iraq.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the two, aged 38 and 34, both from Queensland, were killed when the vehicle carrying them was hit by an explosive device.
Another 38-year-old Queensland man was injured in the attack, which occurred about 8km south-east of Baghdad just before 8am (AEST) today, the spokesman said.
"He is currently in a stable condition and his injuries have been described an non-life-threatening,'' the spokesman said.
The three men worked for BLP International, a private company based in the United Arab Emirates which provides protective security services.
A spokesman for Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said DFAT officers were working with the men's families in Australia.
"This just underscores the seriousness of our travel advisories in a number of locations around the world, including Iraq,'' the spokesman said.
Mr Downer last year said security contractors faced a lot of risk in Iraq and advised against travel there.
Six Australian contractors have now been killed since the beginning of the Iraq war.
A New Zealand-born Brisbane man, Steve Gilchrist, 33, was killed instantly when his armoured vehicle was hit by an armour-piercing shell as he was escorting a convoy of trucks in December last year.
He had been employed by the private British security firm ArmorGroup.
On August 15 last year, Melbourne man Jon Hadaway, 34, died in Germany from injuries he sustained in an August 3 bombing.
A security guard for ArmorGroup, he had been based in Umm Qasr in southern Iraq.
On June 8, 2006, Wayne Schulz, 34, of Queensland, died when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was destroyed by a bomb 300km north of Baghdad. Mr Schulz had been working as an infrastructure security officer with ArmorGroup.
In April 2005, Queenslander Chris Ahmelman, 34, was killed with two others in an ambush by insurgents on their way to Baghdad Airport.
He had been working as a private security contractor for British firm Edinburgh Risk and Security Management.
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