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Incident Report Details Blackwater Attack
TIME: Blackwater Says Convoy Came Under Smalls Arms Fire and Responded
09/17/2007 5:52 PM ET
Blackwater's incident report on the Sunday confrontation in which a number of civilians died has been shared with TIME magazine, and perhaps not surprisingly reflects more positively on the security contractors' conduct than earlier accounts of the event.

According to TIME's summary of the incident report, the skirmish occurred at 12:08 p.m. on Sunday when, "the motorcade was engaged with small arms fire from several locations" as it moved through a neighborhood of west Baghdad.

"The team returned fire to several identified targets" before leaving the area, though one vehicle had to be towed away because its engine block had been penetrated by bullets.

A separate convoy arriving to help was "blocked/surrounded by several Iraqi police and Iraqi national guard vehicles and armed personnel," the report says. Then an American helicopter hovered over the traffic circle, as the U.S. convoy departed without casualties.

Some reports have said the helicopter also opened fire on Iraqis, but a Blackwater official told TIME that no shots were fired from the air.

Some eyewitnesses said a mortar attack on the convoy sparked the incident, or that it began after an explosion detonated nearby, but TIME says the incident report does not reflect that.

A Blackwater official told TIME that, contrary to some reports from Iraq, "the convoy was violently attacked by armed insurgents, not civilians, and our people did their job, they fired back to defend human life."

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