Guard: Blackwater Baghdad Massacre Was Unprovoked
Chilling details emerge in indictments of five guards in deaths of 17 Iraqis
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 3:11 AM CST
Plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater take part in a firefight in Najaf, Iraq.   (AP Photo/Gervasio Sanchez, File)
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(Newser) – Five guards working for the Blackwater security company in Baghdad opened fire without provocation and massacred Iraqi civilians on a busy Baghdad intersection in 2007, according to chilling indictments filed against the men. The guards, protecting a convoy, used automatic weapons and grenade launchers to fire on cars, houses, a traffic cop and a school, killing 17 and wounding 20, reports the New York Times.

A sixth guard, who has been allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter, told prosecutors the massacre began when the men opened fire on a white sedan "that posed no threat to the convoy." No attempt was made to give a reasonable warning, he told investigators. The shootings ignited a storm of controversy over the use of private security contractors in Iraq.