‘Our blood is cheaper than water’: Iraqis’ anger over Trump pardons

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A burnt-out car at the site where Blackwater guards opened fire in western Baghdad on 16 September 2007. Photograph: Ali Yussef/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqis have reacted with outrage to Donald Trump’s move to pardon four security guards from the security firm Blackwater who were jailed for a 2007 massacre that sparked an outcry over the use of mercenaries in war.

The four men were part of a security convoy that fired on civilians at a central Baghdad roundabout, killing 14 people including a nine-year old child and wounding many more.

The four guards – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nicholas Slatten – opened fire indiscriminately with machine guns, grenade launchers and a sniper on a crowd of unarmed people at a roundabout, known as Nisour Square.Trump pardons Blackwater contractors jailed for massacre of Iraq civiliansRead more

The killings were one of the lowest points of the US-led invasion of Iraq, and many Iraqis saw the convictions as a rare occasion where US citizens had been held to account for atrocities committed during the aftermath. Baghdad residents who spoke to the Guardian described the outgoing US president’s announcement as a “cruel slap” and an insult.

Source: The Guardian