Leaked Pakistani report confirms high civilian death toll in CIA drone strikes
A new secret report shows high number of civilian casualties in CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan.
The Pakistani report obtained by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that contrary to US claims, numerous drone strikes in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas have left scores of civilians dead.
Of 746 people killed in the drone strikes as listed in the document, at least 147 are clearly stated as civilian victims, 94 of which are children.
The document showed that Pakistani officials have been aware of the significant number of civilians killed by CIA drones for years and have kept quiet.
The report suggested over 400 civilians may have been killed by US drones in the past nine years.
The secret report called Details of Attacks by NATO Forces/Predators in FATA was put together by Pakistan government in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The report outlines 75% of CIA drones strikes between 2006 and 2009 and provides details of casualties in many of them. Also listed are five attacks conducted by NATO or other unspecified forces.
The U.S. administration has persistently marinated that across the nine-year bombings of Pakistan, the deaths include no more than 50 to 60 “non-combatants.”
Jemima Khan, associate editor of British magazine the New Statesman and also the former wife of Pakistani politician Imran Khan - who is an avid campaigner against US drone strikes, said she was angry at Pakistani officials’ silence while they privately knew of the tragedies.
‘Can you imagine the uproar that would be caused anywhere else in the world if 94 children were reported murdered in just three years?’ Ms. Khan told the Bureau.
International reports say over 3,500 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in Pakistan by US drone attacks since 2004. Several prominent politicians and critics argue that the civilian deaths cause people to join militant groups.
Source: Iran Press TV, AN/ARA News - 22 July 2013
Photo: US Official letter obtained by Civic revealing civilian deaths on January 23 2009 (Photo by Files)