Blackwater security guard convicted in 2007 mass shooting of Iraqi civilians

A former Blackwater security guard was convicted on Wednesday for his role in the 2007 shooting of several unarmed Iraqi civilians, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said.

The D.C. attorney's office announced that a jury found Nicholas Slatten, 35, guilty of first-degree murder for his role in what became one of the U.S. military's lowest points in the Iraq War.

It was the third time since 2014 that Slatten was on trial for the incident. His 2014 conviction was overturned on appeal, and a judge earlier this year declared a mistrial in Slatten's retrial after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

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Prosecutors said that on the afternoon of Sept. 16, 2007, Slatten and other then-Blackwater security guards opened fire near a busy traffic circle in Baghdad, killing 14 civilians and injuring 18 others in what became known as the Nisour Square massacre. The deceased included 10 men, two women and two young boys. 

Slatten was the first to open fire unprovoked, prosecutors said. He was assigned at the time to a team of Blackwater contractors to guard a fleet of heavily armed tactical trucks.

In total, 19 of the 23 contractors assigned to the team fired their weapons in the incident, prosecutors said. 

Three other Blackwater contractors were found guilty in 2015 on charges of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and other counts.

The Washington Post reported that 30 Iraqis who survived the shooting or had relatives killed in the incident traveled to testify in person at the 2014 trial.