Witness Talks About Blackwater Shootings

Winning hearts and minds:

Traffic officer Ali Khalaf, who was on duty on Sunday last week in Al-Yarmukh, in the mainly Sunni Mansour area of west Baghdad, told AFP he had witnessed the entire incident.

“The American convoy arrived… and as usual I stopped the traffic to allow them to pass,” Khalaf said.

As they often do, guards from the US firm — the largest private security operators in Iraq — hurled water bottles at cars to stop traffic as they drove through.

“Then without reason, they opened fire. Four shots, in the air, aiming just above the cars,” Khalaf said.

“But one of the bullets struck a man in his car. I went to his aid but he was already dead, his body was slumped on the dashboard.

“His wife was then killed before my eyes by a bullet that hit her in the head.”

Khalaf said he ran to take shelter inside his little hut as the gunfire continued.

The car with the dead couple “continued to move, with its doors open and the bodies inside — like a phantom vehicle.”

“The Americans fired at everything that moved, with a machine gun and even with a grenade launcher. There was panic. Everyone tried to flee. Vehicles tried to make U-turns to escape.”


  1. I kind of wish I could believe this was written full of anti-american bias. I don’t find it hard to believe that mercenaries are throwing water bottles are cars. I can see them shooting warning shots to discourage would-be car/suicide bombers. I just can’t see them murdering two people and then using their still moving car as an excuse to shoot more people. The only way I can even picture it is if I make them caricature-like cartoons.

  2. Blackwater consists of highly experienced ex-military personnel. They do the most dangerous security work and they’ll do it almost anywhere. I happen to know a guy who’s in Iraq on their payroll, and he’s a stand up-guy. You have to give them credit for doing jobs that 99.99% of us wouldn’t consider doing.

    It’s silly to insinuate, as this post does, that they opened fire for no reason.

    Why not be fair and report the Blackwater guys’ side of the story?

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