Wounded Iraqis: ‘No one did anything’ to provoke Blackwater

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — It was last Sunday in western Baghdad. Helicopters circled overhead while armed guards, privately hired by the U.S. government, were conducting an ordinary mission to protect U.S. State Department employees.


Hasan Jaber Salman, wounded in the incident, says of Blackwater contractors: “No one fired on them.”

But within minutes there was an explosion, a hail of gunfire, and bodies in the streets.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry says at least 10 Iraqis were killed and 10 wounded. Another government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, told CNN that at least 20 people died, with 35 wounded.

So what happened on that day on a square in the Mansour district of Baghdad?

It depends on whom you ask.

Blackwater USA, the private security firm at the center of the controversy, says its employees simply defended themselves against armed attackers.

Two men hospitalized with gunshot wounds disagree. They say the guards fired on people for no reason.

Hasan Jaber Salman lies in Yarmouk Hospital, bandages covering gunshot wounds in his back.

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