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Families Of The Dead Sue Blackwater & CEO For Baghdad Massacre

WASHINGTON (CN) - The families of three people shot to death by Blackwater USA "mercenaries" and another man injured in the Sept. 16 massacre at Nisoor Square in Baghdad demand punitive damages for extrajudicial killings, war crimes, negligence and other charges. The Estates of Himoud Saed Atban, Usama Fadhil Abbass and Oday Ismail Ibraheem - fathers of 10 children - and the injured Talib Mutlaq Deewan say "this senseless slaughter ... was only the latest incident in Blackwater's lengthy pattern of egregious misconduct in Iraq." They say that at the time of the massacre, "Blackwater was not protecting any State Department official," having already dropped off their client. They claim "Blackwater created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees ... This action seeks punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish Erik Prince and his Blackwater companies for their repeated callous killing of innocents." Defendant Prince owns defendant Prince Group, corporate parent of Blackwater. All are based in McLean, Va. Plaintiffs are represented by Susan Burke with Burke O'Neil of Philadelphia and Michael Ratner with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. See complaint.


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