Friday, August 12, 2011

Drone War Exposed – the complete picture of CIA strikes in Pakistan

by , The Bureau of Investigative Journalism,Aug. 10, 2011

Pakistani villagers at funeral of drone victim - December 29 2010- AP

CIA drone strikes have led to far more deaths in Pakistan than previously understood, according to extensive new research published by the Bureau. More than 160 children are among at least 2,292 people reported killed in US attacks since 2004. There are credible reports of at least 385 civilians among the dead.

In a surprise move, a counter-terrorism official has also released US government estimates of the numbers killed. These state that an estimated 2,050 people have been killed in drone strikes – of whom all but an estimated 50 are combatants.

Reassessment

The Bureau’s fundamental reassessment of the covert US campaign involved a complete re-examination of all that is known about each US drone strike.
‘The Obama administration must explain the legal basis for drone strikes in Pakistan to avoid the perception that it acts with impunity. The Pakistan government must also ensure accountability for indiscriminate killing, in violation of international law, that occurs inside Pakistan,’

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International
 
The study is based on close analysis of credible materials: some 2,000 media reports; witness testimonies; field reports of NGOs and lawyers; secret US government cables; leaked intelligence documents, and relevant accounts by journalists, politicians and former intelligence officers.

The Bureau’s findings are published in a 22,000-word database which covers each individual strike in Pakistan in detail. A powerful search engine, an extensive timeline and searchable maps accompany the data.

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