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British Mercenaries Sued for Bloodbath

HOUSTON (CN) - Mercenaries working for Britain-based Erinys International riddled a taxicab with bullets outside of Kirkuk, Iraq, shooting out one occupant's eye and blowing part of another's ear off, the civilian victims claim in Federal Court.

Erinys is a private British security company that operates on three continents and has an office in Houston. "The company has grossed more than $150 million in Iraq and has contracts to protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," according to the complaint.

Sangar Mohamed and his siblings, Zirag Qadar and Arazw Qadar, say Erinys employees "some distance ahead" gave no warning before unleashing a hail of gunfire on their taxi.

"Specifically no auditory, verbal, hand or bright light warnings were given before they fired at the taxi," say the plaintiffs, who were accustomed to private security firms working in the area, and the signals they use to slow down oncoming traffic.

"Following the shooting, the Erinys employees drove off without coming to the aid of the plaintiffs," they say.

Sangar Mohamed was struck on the side of the head, lost part of his ear and now suffers from impaired hearing. Zirag Qadar was hit in the face by a bullet, "causing the total loss of his right eye."

Zirag's sister, Arazw Qadar, was sitting next to him and saw her brother's eye dangling from its socket with and blood squirting from the wound, the plaintiffs claim.

All of the victims suffered extensive shrapnel wounds, and suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, they say.

All are Iraqi citizens who live in Erbil.

They seek punitive damages. They are represented by Tobias Cole of Houston.

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