From our partners at Newshoggers.com
By Steve Hynd
Afghanistan has banned eight private security firms, including the company formerly known as Blackwater, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai told reporters Sunday.
Among the companies whose operations are being dissolved are Xe (formerly known as Blackwater), NCL, FHI, White Eagles and other small companies, spokesman Waheed Omer said. Both international and domestic companies were affected.
Weapons and ammunition belonging to these companies has been seized, he said.
Xe has several operations in Afghanistan, some of which will not be immediately affected by the decision. While Xe's transportation and highway security operations have stopped, it will continue to offer security for embassies.
Although the presidency has claimed that eight security companies are closed down, but the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior denying these claims said the government has dismantled only one big private security company and three other small groups.
"One big security company that owned 75 weapons and was active in Herat, has been dissolved, and three other small groups that had security responsibilities, were part of the steps we have raised," Zemarai Bashari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior told reporters.
Hmmm. More style instead of substance?
I'd also point out that NCL Holdings, like Blackwater, won't dissapear from Afghanistan even if its security contracting arm is disbanded. The firm, founded by the son of the current Afghan Minister of Defense and ex-CIA agent Milt Bearden, also has contracts making it the biggest single transporter of supplies for ISAF within Afghanistan.
Update: Reporter Anand Gopal tweets that NCL's people are denying they've been shut down.