Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blackwater shoulda been banned long ago

People who murder 10 year old kids belong in JAIL.

The real story of Baghdad's Bloody Sunday

Six days ago, at least 28 civilians died in a shooting incident involving the US security company Blackwater. But what actually happened? Kim Sengupta reports from the scene of the massacre
Published: 21 September 2007

The eruption of gunfire was sudden and ferocious, round after round mowing down terrified men women and children, slamming into cars as they collided and overturned with drivers frantically trying to escape. Some vehicles were set alight by exploding petrol tanks. A mother and her infant child died in one of them, trapped in the flames.

The shooting on Sunday, by the guards of the American private security company Blackwater, has sparked one of the most bitter and public disputes between the Iraqi government and its American patrons, and brings into sharp focus the often violent conduct of the Western private armies operating in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, immune from scrutiny or prosecution.

Blackwater's security men are accused of going on an unprovoked killing spree. Hassan Jabar Salman, a lawyer, was shot four times in the back, his car riddled with eight more bullets, as he attempted to get away from their convoy. Yesterday, sitting swathed in bandages at Baghdad's Yarmukh Hospital, he recalled scenes of horror. "I saw women and children jump out of their cars and start to crawl on the road to escape being shot," said Mr Salman. "But still the firing kept coming and many of them were killed. I saw a boy of about 10 leaping in fear from a minibus, he was shot in the head. His mother was crying out for him, she jumped out after him, and she was killed. People were afraid."

At the end of the prolonged hail of bullets Nisoor Square was a scene of carnage with bodies strewn around smouldering wreckage. Ambulances trying to pick up the wounded found their path blocked by crowds fleeing the gunfire.

Yesterday, the death toll from the incident, according to Iraqi authorities, stood at 28. And it could rise higher, say doctors, as some of the injured, hit by high-velocity bullets at close quarter, are unlikely to survive.

With public anger among Iraqis showing no sign of abating, the US administration has suspended all land movement by officials outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.


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