Saturday 6 September 2014

Blackwater: BANNED from Iraq September 2009


Published:  10 August 2009

(article excerpt)

Blackwater insists its guards returned fire against armed insurgents threatening American diplomats.

However, an Iraqi government official has claimed the U.S. security men opened fire because they were stuck in traffic, throwing stun grenades in order to clear the road.

An eyewitness backs up his story. Hairdresser Suhad Mirza, 29, was working in her salon about 250m from Nisour Square when she heard sirens. 'I went outside the shop to see a convoy of SUVs with security guards shooting randomly at people,' she says.

'Apparently, the guards wanted to make their way through the traffic jam made by an Iraqi army checkpoint. Minutes later, the ambulances arrived to pick up the wounded and dead.' 
Private security companies operating in Iraq are hugely controversial... 

Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, repeatedly called for Blackwater, the most notorious of the private militias, to be ejected from the country. The North Carolina-based company clung on until it lost its most lucrative contract in May. It will finally leave Iraq in September.

Now, two former employees - one a former U.S. Marine - have lifted the lid on Blackwater, accusing its founder, Erik Prince, of embarking on a 'crusade to eliminate Muslims'. 

They claim Blackwater guards routinely took mind-altering drugs and steroids, and used child prostitutes in the war-torn country they were supposedly helping to liberate.

They also say Blackwater carried out deliberate killings and arms dealing.

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