Blackwater guards shot NY Times’ dog dead

news.com.au | Dec 19, 2007

THE US embassy in Iraq is investigating another deadly shooting incident involving its Blackwater bodyguards — this time of the New York Times’ dog.

Staff at the newspaper’s Baghdad bureau said Blackwater bodyguards shot Hentish dead last week before a visit by a US diplomat to the Times compound.

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said the dog had attacked one of Blackwater’s bomb-sniffer dogs while a security team was sweeping the compound for explosives.

“The K-9 handler made several unsuccessful attempts to get the dog to retreat, including placing himself between the dogs.

When those efforts failed, the K-9 handler unfortunately was forced to use a pistol to protect the company’s K-9 and himself,” she said in an email to Reuters.

The US embassy employs about 1000 armed Blackwater staff to protect American diplomats in Baghdad.

The firm’s role became a serious issue in Iraqi-US relations when its guards opened fire on a Baghdad street in September, killing 17 people. Blackwater says its employees acted lawfully in that incident, which is under investigation.

State Department investigators had made two follow-up visits to the Times compound to investigate the shooting of Hentish, correspondent Alissa Rubin said.

“They were very solicitous and I thought took the incident very seriously,” Rubin said. “It’s not a dog that everyone’s close to in the compound.

“But it’s a dog that’s been around a long time. It lived its whole life there.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s