Blackwater Shooters Were Not Provoked, Iraq Says

Hired guards guilty in massacre: Baghdad
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2007 8:46 AM CDT
Al-Nisoor Square is seen in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007, four days after a shootout involving a Blackwater security detail protecting a U.S. State Department convoy. Relations between the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A man who failed to stop for a traffic policeman and a screaming woman with a baby in her arms were shot dead as they crossed a busy Baghdad intersection guarded by private US security guards, according to a harrowing Iraqi account of the incident Sunday that left eight civilians dead. Iraq's Interior Ministry has concluded that the Blackwater guards were not returning fire when they started shooting, reports the New York Times.

The American analysis of the incident has not been completed, and officials declined to make any statements about what they believe happened.  But the Times notes that other witnesses have reported Iraqi commandos firing on the Blackwater guards from a watchtower. The Iraqi report says that foreign security companies should be replaced by Iraqi companies, and the immunity security guards should be revoked.