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Fed Prosecutors: Blackwater Guards “Harbored Deep Hostility Toward Iraqi Civilians”

With troop reductions in Iraq, the U.S. will be hiring more and more private security guards. The Blackwater story should give pause to the indiscriminate use of private guards in war-torn areas.

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By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Several Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqis in a busy Baghdad square in 2007 “harbored a deep hostility toward Iraqi civilians” and “engaged in unprovoked and aggressive behavior toward” them in the months before the shooting, U.S. prosecutors said Monday.

Five Blackwater security guards were indicted in December on federal charges of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and using a firearm in a crime of violence in the shooting in Nisoor Square. The government says the guards unleashed an unprovoked attack on Iraqi civilians that day, killing 14 and wounding 20. The guards have pleaded not guilty.

Their lawyers have said the men acted in self-defense and did not intend to kill innocent civilians. On Monday, federal prosecutors filed court papers asking a judge to allow them to introduce evidence that shows the men “intended to kill or seriously injure” Iraqis during the shooting on Sept. 16, 2007.

For Full Story

Read Government’s Filing


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