Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Murder indiscriminately, then move along and never look back

It has happened again.

American mercenaries opened fire on a vehicle in Baghdad and killed civilians who were guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This weeks indiscriminate murder of civilians occurred on Karada Street, a popular shopping didtrict in the babel neighborhood.

The mercs involved work for the Dubai-based company Unity Resources Group. The company confirmed that one of it's security teams was involved in the incident, and for what it's worth, they are conducting an internal investigation.

An American official in Baghdad confirmed that Unity Resources Group was working for RTI International, a non-profit based in North Carolina that offers advice to local governments, and works in Iraq under contract to USAID. No RTI employees were in the convoy at the time of todays murder of civilians.

A spokesman for Unity Resources said that the shooting occured shortly before 2:00 p.m. Baghdad time. He claims that the four-vehicle convoy was “approached at speed by a vehicle. That vehicle failed to stop despite an escalation of warnings including hand signals and a signal flare. Finally, shots were fired and it stopped at that point.”

A shopkeeper who saw the whole thing told a different story. He said that the white SUV's blocked an intersection, and the vehicle that was fired on approached from behind, and was shot first in the radiator. When it failed to stop immediately (the vehicle came to rest about 12 meters from the initial shot) a barrage of gunfire was volleyed from the back of at least one of the SUV's. The man, who would only identify himself as "Mohammed" said he heard no warning of any kind before the shooting. “They shot from the back door,” he said. “The door opened, and they fired.”

He said the convoy moved out right away without checking to see what damage had been done. “They left immediately and did not give any help,” he said. He pointed out to a reporter where the convoy had stopped and where the vehicle had approached from.

Multiple gunshots ripped into the vehicle and killed the two female occupants in the front seat, while two children riding in the back seat survived. The car was towed to a police station and a priest was summoned after the terrified children who survived that the women who fell victim to the thuggery of the mercenaries were Armenian Christians.

The incident takes place under the cloud of Blackwater, which is accused of a wanton murderous rampage on September 16 that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead and 27 wounded.
The shopkeeper who witnessed todays massacre said he was angry, but his anger is directed at the Iraqi government. “We can’t blame the contractors,” he said. “We blame our officials for this. We blame the American government. They’re working here under the authority of the Iraqi government. They did not come here without authority.”