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Thread: Blackwater Personnel Involved In Iraqi Shoot

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Hard to tell what went on. Not enough detail yet.

    But if 11 good guys were killed and no bad guys were gotten, that's not good...

    Somewhat OC related...those guys are all technically civilians...



    Iraq revokes security contractor license after shootout

    Reuters
    Monday, September 17, 2007; 8:35 AM


    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq announced on Monday it had withdrawn the license of a U.S. security firm and would prosecute employees it said were involved in a shooting in Baghdad in which 11 people were killed.

    An Interior Ministry spokesman said security personnel working for contractors Blackwater had opened fire after mortar rounds landed near their cars in Nusour Square in the western Baghdad district of Mansour.


    "By chance the company was passing by. They opened fire randomly at citizens," Brigadier-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said. Eleven people were killed, including one policeman, and 13 people were wounded, he said.

    The U.S. military said on Sunday security contractors working for the State Department were involved in an incident, but gave no further details.

    No one was immediately available to comment at Blackwater offices in North Carolina.

    "We have withdrawn its license," Khalaf said, adding that the ministry had also formed a committee to investigate the incident and "deliver those who committed this act to the court."

    Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki condemned the shooting and vowed to punish the perpetrators and their employers.

    "We will work to punish and halt the work of the security company which conducted this criminal act," state television quoted him as saying.

    Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said security contractors "must respect Iraqi laws and the right of Iraqis to independence on their land."

    "These cases have happened more than once and we can't keep silent in the face of them," he told Arabiya television.

    Thousands of private security contractors, many of them American and European, have worked in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.

    Many Iraqis believe they operate outside the law with little accountability either to the Iraqi government or U.S. military forces.

    Khalaf did not say how many contractors were involved in the shooting. He said the investigating committee had gone to the scene and spoken to witnesses, and would also visit the company's compound in Baghdad.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...091700394.html




  2. #2
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    Little differnet take on Fox.

    BAGHDAD— The Interior Ministry said Monday that it was pulling the license of an American security firm allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of civilians during an attack on a U.S. State Department motorcade in Baghdad.[/b]

    The ministry said it would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force in the Sunday incident.

    Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said eight people were killed and 13 were wounded when security contractors working for Blackwater USA opened fire in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood of western Baghdad.

    "We have canceled the license of Blackwater and prevented them from working all over Iraqi territory. We will also refer those involved to Iraqi judicial authorities," Khalaf said.

    Blackwater, based in North Carolina, provides security for many U.S. civilian operations in the country. Phone messages left early Monday at Blackwater's office in North Carolina and with a company spokeswoman were not immediately returned.

    The Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman said witness reports pointed to Blackwater involvement but said the incident was still under investigation. It was not immediately clear if the measure against Blackwater was intended to be temporary or permanent.



    /**/


    U.S. troops are immune from prosecution in Iraq under the U.N. resolution that authorizes their presence, but Khalaf said the exemption does not apply to private security companies.

    The U.S. Embassy said a State Department motorcade came under small-arms fire that disabled one of the vehicles, which had to be towed from the scene near Nisoor Square in the Mansour district.

    An embassy official provided no information about Iraqi casualties but said no State Department personnel were wounded or killed. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

    He said the shooting was being investigated by the State Department's diplomatic security service, and law enforcement officials working with the Iraqi government and the U.S. military.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki late Sunday condemned the shooting by a "foreign security company" and called it a "crime."

    Tens of thousands of private security contractors operate in Iraq — some with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bulletproof vehicles.

    The contractors, including many Americans and Britons, provide protection for Westerners and dignitaries in Iraq as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war.

    Many have been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys, but none has faced charges or prosecution.

    Iraqi police said the contractors were in a convoy of six sport utility vehicles and left the scene after the shooting. A witness said the gunfire broke out following an explosion.

    "We saw a convoy of SUVs passing in the street nearby. One minute later, we heard the sound of a bomb explosion followed by gunfire that lasted for 20 minutes between gunmen and the convoy people who were foreigners and dressed in civilian clothes. Everybody in the street started to flee immediately," said Hussein Abdul-Abbas, who owns a mobile phone store in the area.

    The wartime numbers of private guards are unprecedented — as are their duties, many of which have traditionally been done by soldiers. They protect U.S. military operations and have guarded high-ranking officials including Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Baghdad.

    They also protect journalists, visiting foreign officials and thousands of construction projects

  3. #3
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    Either way I wonder if mr. Maliki is willing to publicly procesute those terrorist they know about????

  4. #4
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Yah, we'll have to wait to get more details. Still unclear what actually happened. Could be one of those cases where everybody pretty much lies...

    But, I chuckle at the "cancellation" of Blackwater's license.

    It's hardly possible to terminate Blackwater's deployments over there...too many, too deep.

  5. #5
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    This account makes it sound like a video game.


    Could be a goofs-with-guns incident...




    Witness tells of carnage in Baghdad shooting
    September 23, 2007

    BAGHDAD (AFP) — An Iraqi traffic policeman told Sunday how Blackwater security guards caused carnage when they opened fire on civilians in Baghdad, as a senior officer probing the shooting insisted it was unprovoked.

    One week after the gunbattle that killed 10 civilians and enraged Iraq's government, police and interior ministry officials were still gathering witness accounts and hunting video footage perhaps taken by amateurs on mobile phones.

    Blackwater insists the US convoy it was escorting came under attack by insurgents before its guards opened fire but the Iraqi government was incensed by the incident and said it would revoke the security company's licence.

    Traffic officer Ali Khalaf, who was on duty on Sunday last week in Al-Yarmukh, in the mainly Sunni Mansour area of west Baghdad, told AFP he had witnessed the entire incident.

    "The American convoy arrived... and as usual I stopped the traffic to allow them to pass," Khalaf said.

    As they often do, guards from the US firm -- the largest private security operators in Iraq -- hurled water bottles at cars to stop traffic as they drove through.

    "Then without reason, they opened fire. Four shots, in the air, aiming just above the cars," Khalaf said.

    "But one of the bullets struck a man in his car. I went to his aid but he was already dead, his body was slumped on the dashboard.

    "His wife was then killed before my eyes by a bullet that hit her in the head."

    Khalaf said he ran to take shelter inside his little hut as the gunfire continued.

    The car with the dead couple "continued to move, with its doors open and the bodies inside -- like a phantom vehicle."

    "The Americans fired at everything that moved, with a machine gun and even with a grenade launcher. There was panic. Everyone tried to flee. Vehicles tried to make U-turns to escape."

    According to Khalaf, people then left their cars and tried to flee for cover, some being struck down as they ran. A car was hit by two grenades and burst into fire, engulfing its occupants in flames.

    "There were dead bodies and wounded people everywhere, the road was full of blood. A bus was also hit and several of its occupants were wounded," said the traffic officer.

    Two small black helicopters that always accompany Blackwater on security missions swooped down and sprayed the scene with machine gun fire, Khalaf added.

    On Wednesday, the Iraqi and US governments announced they had set up a joint commission to investigate the shootings as well as to examine the broader question of rules governing foreign security companies operating in Iraq.

    Despite opposition from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Blackwater, which escorts US embassy personnel, was back on the streets of Baghdad on Friday after being grounded for four days.

    According to a senior policeman involved in the investigations, other witnesses are equally adamant that Blackwater opened fire without provocation.

    "The Americans say that the convoy first came under small arms fire. That is totally false," the officer told AFP, asking not to be named because he is not entitled to speak to the media.

    "None of the witnesses we have interviewed speak of an attack," he said.

    "There is at least one video, shot by police using a digital camera just moments after the shooting, which shows the victims," said the police officer. "This video is in our hands and we are examining it."

    He did not rule out the possible existence of other videos taken at the moment of the shooting, including with mobile phones, given the number of people present at the time.

    "The Blackwater guards opened fire on motorists without reason, they were never a target of a single shot or any attack," the officer said.

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...FJcXMAohchp6dw


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    HankT wrote:
    But, I chuckle at the "cancellation" of Blackwater's license.
    if they had a licence to operate over there, anyway.

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