Four Blackwater Defense Contractors Are Ambushed and Killed in Fallujah, Iraq

On March 31, 2004 Fallujah ambush saw Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah ambush 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 Michael Teague, were dragged from their cars, beaten, and set ablaze. Their burned corpses were then dragged through the streets before being hung 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.