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Blackwater Guards Acted In Self Defense

From the terrorist enablers at CNN:


Iraq battle was self-defense, security firm says

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi officials Monday condemned the weekend killings of eight civilians during a Baghdad street battle involving American security contractors and said they would shut down Blackwater, the company involved.

Blackwater said its employees acted in self-defense. The U.S. State Department said it plans to investigate what it calls a “terrible incident.” …

In addition to the fatalities, 14 people were wounded, most of them civilians, an Iraqi official said.

Sunday’s firefight took place near Nusoor Square, an area that straddles the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Mansour and Yarmouk.

The ministry said the incident began around midday, when a convoy of sport utility vehicles came under fire from unidentified gunmen in the square. The men in the SUVs, described by witnesses as Westerners, returned fire, the ministry said.

Blackwater’s employees were protecting a U.S. official when they were hit by “a large explosive device, then repeated small-arms fire — and to the point where it disabled one of the vehicles, and the vehicle had to be towed out of the firefight,” said Marty Strong, vice president of Blackwater USA.

A senior industry source said Blackwater guards had escorted a State Department group to a meeting with U.S. Agency for International Development officials in Mansour before the shootings.

A car bomb went off about 80 feet (25 meters) from the meeting site and the contractors started evacuating the State Department officials, he said. A State Department report on the attack said the convoy came under fire from an estimated eight to 10 people, some in Iraqi police uniforms.

The guards called for backup, at one point finding their escape route blocked by an Iraqi quick-reaction force that pointed heavy machine guns at one vehicle in the convoy. A U.S. Army force, backed by air cover, arrived about half an hour later to escort the convoy back to the Green Zone, the report states.

A team from another security company passed through the area shortly after the street battle.

“Our people saw a couple of cars destroyed,” Carter Andress, CEO of American-Iraqi Solutions Groups, told CNN on Monday. “Dead bodies, wounded people being evacuated. The U.S. military had moved in and secured the area. It was not a good scene.”

An Interior Ministry spokesman, Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf, said, “We have revoked Blackwater’s license to operate in Iraq. As of now they are not allowed to operate anywhere in the Republic of Iraq. The investigation is ongoing, and all those responsible for Sunday’s killing will be referred to Iraqi justice.”

“Iraqi justice”?

God help them. 

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, September 18th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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