Blackwater guards indicted by US to surrender Monday

Other News Materials 7 December 2008 09:46 (UTC +04:00)

Five private security guards who are being charged in the US in connection with the killing of more than a dozen people in Baghdad are to surrender Monday to authorities, according to the New York Times on Sunday.

The lawyers for the five Blackwater Worldwide security guards told the Times their clients would surrender and also charged that the US government had overstepped its authority in the charges, dpa reported.

The indictments, which were reported on Saturday, follow the investigation of the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in September, 2007.

Blackwater guards opened fire in a Baghdad neighbourhood, provoked the Iraqi government to anger and sparked an uproar about the use of private guards in Iraq.

Blackwater has claimed that the armoured convoy was shot at first, saying its personnel came under hostile fire and responded appropriately.

Agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had concluded most of the 17 fatal shootings were unjustified, according to reports in late 2007.

In April, the US State Department said it would extend its Iraq contract with Blackwater, which provides security for US diplomats in Baghdad.