WASHINGTON (CN) – A native of Iraq living in Tennessee claims U.S. mercenaries “sped off like gangsters” after killing his daughter by shooting up a car full of people returning from church in Baghdad.
Jalal Askander says the mercenaries working for the Unity Resources Group and Research Triangle Institute International killed his daughter, Genevia Jala Antranick, on Oct. 9, 2007, by shooting her in the head.
She was a passenger in a car was crossing a busy intersection in Baghdad when Unity mercenaries shot it up with “thirty to forty bullets” from 75 yards away, Askander says in his Superior Court complaint.
He sued Unity and the Research Triangle Institute, which hired Unity for its security services, for wrongful death, assault and negligent hiring.
Askander filed a similar complaint last year in Superior Court, after filing a federal complaint in 2008, which was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
He says an Iraqi policeman “stated that the armored convoy sped off ‘like gangsters’ after the shooting, leaving Ms. Antranick … to die.”
Askander says his daughter’s death was one of many incidents involving private security contractors who have an utter disregard for human rights.
“According to a January, 2008 report of Human Rights First, ‘[c]onvoys often speed down the wrong side of the road, use gunfire as warnings, and fire on civilian vehicles in response to perceived threats,” the complaint states. “Contractors often say that they were acting ‘defensively.’ Their aggressive approach and resort to violent force deeply alienates the local population and ultimately undermines the U.S. military mission.”
Askander says that Unity alone “was involved in 38 previous shooting incidents in Iraq while protecting defendant RTI during a two-year period of about 2006-2007. The total number of shooting incidents in which Unity has been involved in is unknown.”
He seeks punitive damages to wrongful death, negligence and loss of consortium.
He is represented by Paul Wolf.