Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards allegedly involved in the September 2007 shooting, which killed 17 in Nisoor Square, have surrendered to authorities today.
The five guards are charged with manslaughter and using a machine gun in a crime of violence. Though they are charged in a sealed indictment in Washington, they surrendered at a federal courthouse in Salt Lake City. The Justice Department is preparing to make the charges public later Monday.
Seventeen Iraqis were killed in the September 2007 shooting. Witnesses said the heavily armed U.S. contractors opened fire unprovoked, killing innocent motorists and children at a crowded intersection. Blackwater, the largest security contractor in Iraq, says its guards were ambushed by insurgents while responding to a car bombing.
Steven McCool, the defense attorney for one of the men charged, said the indictments are "a politically motivated prosecution to appease the Iraqi government."