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US offers blood money

US embassy offers blood money

October 26, 2007

 

 

 

BAGHDAD: The US embassy has begun offering thousands of dollars to the victims of a shooting in Baghdad last month involving Blackwater security guards, relatives and US officials say.

But family members of several victims turned down the money, out of concern that acceptance would limit their future claims against the US security firm.

Others said that the money being offered, in some cases $US12,500 ($13,850) for a death, was paltry and that they wanted to sue Blackwater in a US court.

“This is an insult,” said Firoz Fadhil Abbas, whose brother Osama was among 17 Iraqis who died in the barrage of bullets fired by Blackwater guards on September 16. “The funeral and the wake cost more than what they offered. My brother who got killed was responsible for four families.”

The offers of compensation, while a standard practice in the US military, are unusual for the US embassy to undertake, reflecting the diplomatic and political sensitivities raised by the shootings, which sparked outrage in Iraq and the US.

An embassy spokeswoman, Mirembe Nantongo, described the offers as “condolence payments” to support the relatives of the victims and said they were not intended to be a final settlement of their claims. Relatives could still bring suits against Blackwater.

“It’s not an admission of culpability,” Ms Nantongo said.

The US State Department’s diplomatic security chief, Richard Griffin, resigned on Wednesday, marking the first departure of a government official with oversight responsibility for the private security contractor program.

Mr Griffin reportedly did not give a reason for his resignation. The Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has ordered an overhaul of oversight of the program

1 Comment »

  1. […] US offers blood money Filed under: Uncategorized — barabie @ 4:31 pm “This is an insult,” said Firoz Fadhil Abbas, whose brother Osama was among 17 Iraqis who died in the barrage of bullets fired by Blackwater guards on September 16. “The funeral and the wake cost more than what they offered. My brother who got killed was responsible for four families.” Read more… […]

    Pingback by US offers blood money « Arab bARABie blog — October 26, 2007 @ 4:31 pm


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