- 31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush
31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush Part of Iraq War Type Ambush Location Fallujah, Iraq Target Blackwater USA personnel Date March 31, 2004 Executed by Iraqi insurgents Casualties 4 killed
On March 31, 2004 an ambush saw Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah attack a convoy containing four United States contractors from the private security company Blackwater USA, who were conducting delivery for food caterers ESS.
The four armed contractors, Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona and Mike Teague, were killed, dragged from their cars, beaten, and set ablaze. Their burned corpses were then dragged through the streets before being hanged over a bridge crossing the Euphrates.
Photos of the event were released to news agencies worldwide, causing a great deal of indignation in the United States, and prompting the announcement of a counter-insurgency campaign in the city.
This led to a US operation to occupy the city in the First Battle of Fallujah that was halted at midpoint for political reasons, and a later successful attempt seven months later in the Second Battle of Fallujah.
The families of the victims filed suit (Helvenston et al. v. Blackwater Security) against Blackwater USA for wrongful death in January 2005. According to a 2010 article in Men's Journal, the personal wealth of Blackwater's founder, Erik Prince, made him an easy target for the lawsuit.
- ^ frontline: private warriors: contractors: the high-risk contracting business | PBS
- ^ Pelton, Robert Young. "An American Commando in Exile". Men's Journal. Men's Journal. http://www.mensjournal.com/an-american-commando-in-exile. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
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