Ex-Blackwater guards charged with murder of two Afghans

Two former Blackwater contractors have been arrested and charged for allegedly killing two people in Kabul last year.

The Americans were working as contractors for the Defense Department providing weapons training to the Afghan National Army.

In 2009 they opened fire at a car, and as a result two people died.

The indictment charges 27-year-old Justin Cannon and 29-year-old Chris Drotleff with second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges, Associated Press reports.

Cannon and Drotleff say that they were justified when they opened fire on a threatening vehicle last year, because they did it out of security considerations.

Blackwater fired both men after the shooting for failure to comply with the terms of their contract.

Both suspected are now in custody. The US Justice Department says the accused could face the death penalty if found guilty.

The shooting has strained relations between two countries.

This is not the first time Blackwater has been involved in such a situation. On December 31, 2009 the US Justice Department acquitted five of the company’s former employees who had been accused of murdering 14 innocent Iraqis in September 2007.

The Iraqi government was dissatisfied with the results of the investigation and promised to bring the company to account.

After the Iraq scandal Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services.