Blackwater Shot Fleeing Iraqis, US Soldiers Say

First on scene found no evidence private guards were in danger
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 10:02 AM CDT
Hassan Jabir, 37, recovers from gunshot wounds in a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007. Jabir, a lawyer, says he was in his car in the Mansour neighborhood when guards in a U.S. State...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Some of the Iraqis killed by Blackwater guards in the Baghdad shootings last month were "fleeing the scene when they were engaged," say the first US soldiers on the scene in an Army report obtained by the Washington Post. Worse, says one commander, there was no indication that the private guards were in danger: "It had every indication of an excessive shooting."

The report, from soldiers who arrived some 20 minutes after the shootings, directly contradicts Blackwater's claim that guards were attacked. It notes that no bullets of the type used by Iraqi soldiers or police were found on the scene, and that several cars had only their rear windshields shot out. Aerial photographs showed that the the car first fired on had not entered the traffic circle when shooting started.