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US security guards to be charged over mass shooting in Iraq

Sarah Knapton
London Telegraph [1]
Saturday, Dec 06, 2008

Five security guards will be charged over the deaths of 17 Iraqis who were shot during an anti-American rally in Baghdad last year.

The employees of Blackwater Worldwide, who were hired by the US State Department to protect American diplomats, opened fire on a crowd who had gathered at an interstate in the Iraqi capital on September 16 2007.

Six guards have been under investigation since the attacks after witnesses claimed the shooting was unprovoked.

Blackwater continues to deny the allegations claiming its guards were ambushed by insurgents while responding to a car bombing.

Young children were among the victims and the shooting strained relations between the U.S. and Iraq.


Following the deaths, Blackwater became the subject insurgent propaganda videos in Iraq.

The Justice Department has been considering manslaughter and assault charges against the guards for weeks but has not released details of the exact indictment.

Prosecutors have also been considering bringing charges for using a machine gun in a crime of violence which carries a mandatory 30-year-sentence.

Full article here [1]