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Sunday, October 7, 2007

US military: Blackwater guilty

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 13:13:30

A US military report has concluded that Blackwater security guards opened fire on Iraqis without provocation and used excessive force.

Blackwater troops were involved in a Baghdad shootout last month that left up to 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

The report clearly states that private security firm was to blame for the Sept. 16 incident.

"It was obviously excessive, it was obviously wrong," said a US official who refused to be named.

"The civilians that were fired upon, they didn't have any weapons to fire back at them. And none of the IP (Iraqi police) or any of the local security forces fired back at them," the official was quoted as saying.

An Iraqi Interior Ministry official and five eyewitnesses described a second deadly shooting involving the same Blackwater guards minutes after the incident in Nisoor Square, the Washington Post reported.

North Carolina-based Blackwater has said its guards reacted lawfully to an attack on the convoy they were protecting.

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