Former Blackwater guards get heavy sentences in Iraq mass shooting case

AFP, April 13

A former Blackwater guard was sentenced to life in prison and three others received 30-year sentences Monday for their roles in a 2007 mass shooting in Iraq that left at least 14 civilians dead.

The four ex-employees of the US private security firm were convicted last October on an array of charges ranging from first degree murder to voluntary manslaughter stemming from the incident in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.

During a two month-trial in US federal court in Washington, a jury heard how the four defendants opened fire with sniper rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers in the bustling square as they escorted a diplomatic convoy.

A toll compiled by American investigators recorded 14 deaths and 17 injured. Iraqi officials say 17 civilians were killed, and 18 injured in the shooting.

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