Blackwater Death Toll Up to 17

Investigators, witnesses, say attack was unprovoked
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2007 9:02 AM CDT
Hussam Hassan inspects his father's car in a carpark in Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007, destroyed in a shooting incident in Baghdad by Blackwater...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As details continue to emerge on the Blackwater shooting in a busy Baghdad square earlier this month, the death toll is up to 17 and the wounded to 24. Piecing together more eye-witness accounts, the New York Times reports that the first shots fired killed a man driving his mother to pick up his father, a pathologist, at the hospital where he worked. Because the driver was dead, the car continued into the intersection, and guards responded with a hail of bullets in multiple directions.

The dead and wounded included civilians shot in their cars and others attempting to flee on foot. Witnesses said guards opened fire on a separate line of traffic a few hundred yards away after the first barrage had stopped. No witnesses reported gunfire coming from Iraqis around the square, although the Times acknowledges that more information may be forthcoming when the American investigation is complete.