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Canada spent more than $41 million on hired guns in Afghanistan over four years, much of it going to security companies slammed by the U.S. Senate for having warlords on the payroll.

Both the Defence and Foreign Affairs departments have employed 11 security contractors in Kabul and Kandahar since 2006, but have kept quiet about the details.

Now documents tabled in Parliament at the request of the New Democrats provide the first comprehensive picture of the use of private contractors, which have been accused of adding to the chaos in Afghanistan.

The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.”

The company, which has since been taken over by G4S Risk Management, provided security around the Canadian embassy in Kabul and guarded diplomats.

Tundra SCA stands on guard for the Defence Department outside Canadian military forward operating bases and has collected more than $5.3 million.

The U.S. Senate report included Tundra on a list of companies that poach staff from Afghan security forces — something that has long angered President Hamid Karzai, who last year moved to eject all private security from the country.

More than $438,000 of the Afghan-owned, Canadian-run company’s expenses remain secret, for operational security reasons. But Tundra’s website, unlike other contractors, promotes its intelligence “gathering and analyzing” abilities.

Source: The Canadian Press

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