Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nisoor Redux Buried In News Reporting

"How can we blame Blackwater and the American soldiers for killing Iraqis in cold blood when today [Iraqi government] guards killed a woman and injured others for no reason but to have the street clear for them?"

That is the anguished question of a Baghdad soda peddler who witnesed the shootings by government guards for the Iraqi Minister for Displacement and Migration.

"First, they killed a woman who was trying to cross the intersection," an Iraqi police officer said. "After that they opened fire on the traffic policeman who was doing his job. They shot him twice and he was injured. He fell down on the street. Then they left the cars and were walking with machine guns and pistols in their hands."

The incident recalls the international outrage nearly a year ago after Blackwater guards defended a diplomatic convoy that came under attack on Nisoor Square, resulting in the deaths of 17 civilians. That incident is under US criminal investigation, with indictments expected.

Media coverage, however, is much different. The Nisoor Square shootout made international headlines. The latest incident is buried at the bottom of a McClatchy news service story about Iraqi natural gas.

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