Guardian UK - A group of American security guards in Iraq have alleged they were beaten, stripped and threatened with a snarling dog by US marines when they were detained after an alleged shooting incident outside Falluja last month.
"I never in my career have treated anybody so inhumane," one of the contractors, Rick Blanchard, a former Florida state trooper, wrote in an email quoted in the Los Angeles Times. "They treated us like insurgents, roughed us up, took photos, hazed [bullied] us, called us names."
A Marine Corps spokesman denied that abuse had taken place and said 19 employees of Zapata Engineering, including 16 Americans, were detained after a marine patrol in Falluja reportedbeing fired on by a convoy of trucks and sports utility vehicles. The security guards claim the shooting incident was a case of mistaken identity.
A spokeswoman for the company told the LA Times that the guards had fired warning shots into the air when an unidentified vehicle approached their vehicle as it passed through Falluja, but had not fired at any marines.
Mark Schopper, a lawyer for two of the contractors, told the newspaper that his clients, both former marines, were subjected to "physical and psychological abuse". He said they had told him that marines had "slammed around" several contractors, stripped them to their underwear and placed a loaded weapon near their heads.