An official Iraqi investigation into a deadly shooting involving Blackwater USA guards raised the number of Iraqis killed to 17 and said the gunfire was not warranted and those involved should face trial, the government said.
The final results showed that convoys from the North Carolina-based security company did not come under direct or indirect fire, before the men shot up a key intersection.
"It was not hit even by a stone," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Sunday.
A US-Iraqi commission also met for the first time on Sunday to review US security operations after the Sept. 16 shootings in which Blackwater guards are accused of opening fire on Iraqi civilians in a main square in Baghdad.
The panel is one of at least three investigations involving Americans.
The Moyock, North Carolina-based security company contends its employees came under fire first.
The incident has caused outrage among Iraqis and calls for the rules governing those protecting US diplomats to be overhauled.
The Iraqi investigative committee, which was ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, put the casualty toll at 17 killed and 23 wounded, giving a higher number than other estimates, and it found that seven vehicles were burned or damaged.
It said the shootings amounted to a deliberate crime and recommended those involved be held legally accountable.
Al-Dabbagh said the Iraqi Cabinet would weigh the Iraqi findings with those of the joint commission "and subsequently adopt the legal procedures to hold this company accountable."
The recommendations also would include that the company compensate the victims after the three-member panel led by Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi determined that Blackwater guards sprayed western Baghdad's Nisoor Square with gunfire without provocation.
The US embassy was tightlipped yesterday over whether those involved in the Sept. 16 killings would be handed over for prosecution.
"This and other matters will be discussed by the Joint Commission as they proceed with their work, best not to prejudge outcome of their discussions at this point," embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said.
Japan’s Mount Aso erupted yesterday, spewing a giant column of ash thousands of meters into the sky as hikers rushed away from the popular tourist spot. No injuries were immediately reported after the late-morning eruption in southwest Japan, which sent rocks flying in a dramatic blast captured by nearby CCTV cameras. People were warned not to approach the volcano as it ejected hot gas and ash as high as 3,500m, and sent stones tumbling down its grassy slopes. Authorities were checking if any hikers had been trapped or injured, officials told local media, as TV footage showed dozens of vehicles and tour buses
‘AVOIDABLE SITUATION’: After being tortured in his home country, a Sri Lankan and his family are at risk of deportation from the UK, despite his academic fellowship A scientist conducting groundbreaking research into renewable energy is facing deportation with his family to Sri Lanka, where he was tortured, after receiving contradictory information about his case from the British Home Office. Nadarajah Muhunthan, 47, his wife, Sharmila, 42, and their three children, aged 13, nine and five, went to the UK in 2018 after Muhunthan, who is working on thin-film photovoltaic devices used to generate solar power, was given a prestigious Commonwealth Rutherford fellowship. The award allowed him to reside to the UK for two years to research and develop the technology. His wife obtained a job caring for
DEMAND-DRIVEN: The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, said law enforcement has allowed palm oil plantations on UNESCO sites, parks and tiger habitats Almost one-fifth of the land used for Indonesian palm oil plantations is located in the country’s forest conservation areas, despite a law banning such activity, a study by Greenpeace has found. The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, describes a catastrophic failure of law enforcement that has permitted swathes of land — including UNESCO sites, national parks and areas mapped as habitats for orangutans and Sumatran tigers — to be cultivated as palm oil plantations. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, which is used in many everyday products and foods, from shampoo and lipstick to chocolate and frozen pizzas. However,
A top global law firm is no longer representing the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in seeking the removal of a Tiananmen memorial from its campus after it came under heavy criticism in the US for helping China purge dissent, the Washington Post reported. Mayer Brown is the latest international company to face pressure over how its actions in China contradict its more progressive statements in the West. The 8m high Pillar of Shame sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiot has stood on HKU’s campus since 1997, the year the city was handed back to China. It features 50 anguished faces and tortured