Blackwater guards indicted over Iraq shooting

Five guards belonging to the private US security firm Blackwater have been indicted with manslaughter in the 2007 shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.


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REUTERS - Five Blackwater security guards were charged on Monday with killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 others in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad, according to the U.S. Justice Department.


In a 35-count indictment, the five men were charged with manslaughter, attempt to commit manslaughter and weapons violations.


"The government alleges in the documents unsealed today that at least 34 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, were killed or injured without justification or provocation by these Blackwater security guards in the shooting at Nisoor Square," Patrick Rowan, assistant attorney general for national security said.


A sixth Blackwater guard pleaded guilty on Dec. 5.


The shooting by the private security firm's guards as they escorted a convoy of U.S. diplomats through Baghdad on Sept. 16, 2007, ignited a deep outcry in Iraq and led U.S. officials to tighten controls on guards and contractors to tone down their tactics.


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