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Two Blackwater Guards Arrested by FBI on Murder Charges

Two former Blackwater operatives were arrested by US federal agents on murder charges, stemming from their alleged involvement in the shooting deaths of two Afghan civilians in Kabul in May. They have been identified as Justin Cannon, 27, of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Christopher Drotleff, 29, of Virginia Beach, Va. They have been charged with "crimes including second-degree murder, attempted murder and firearms offenses while working as contractors for the U.S. Department of Defense in Afghanistan," according to the Justice Department. The 13-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia on Jan. 6 and unsealed today.

It alleges that on May 5, 2009, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Cannon and Drotleff shot and killed two Afghanistan nationals and wounded a third. In a press release, the Justice Department said:

The indictment alleges that at the time of the shootings, Cannon and Drotleff were Department of Defense contractors employed by Paravant LLC, which is a subsidiary of Xe (formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide).  According to the indictment, as contractors, Cannon and Drotleff provided training to the Afghan National Army for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the use and maintenance of weapons and weapons systems.
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