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Blackwater guards ‘out of control’

Washington - A newly disclosed memo reveals a warning by a US State Department investigator that contractors for Blackwater Worldwide saw themselves as above the law and that the contractors, rather than US officials, were in command.

The warning to State Department officials came just weeks before shootings in Nisoor Square in Baghdad that killed 14 people and wounded 18 others on Sept. 16, 2007. A trial in the shootings is underway for four former Blackwater security guards.

This 2007 file photo shows an Iraqi traffic policeman inspecting a car destroyed by a Blackwater security detail in al-Nisoor Square in Baghdad, Iraq. Picture: Khalid Mohammed, File. Credit: AP

The New York Times first reported on the memo.

The memo and other State Department documents make clear that the department was alerted to serious problems involving Blackwater and its government overseers before the Nisoor Square shooting.

Blackwater had a contract with the State Department to protect American diplomats.

Sapa-AP

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