Drone Strikes Killing More Civilians than U.S. Admits, Human Rights Groups Say
Two influential human rights groups say they have freshly documented dozens of civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, contradicting assertions by the Obama administration that such casualties are rare.
In Yemen, Human Rights Watch investigated six selected airstrikes since 2009 and concluded that at least 57 of the 82 people killed were civilians, including a pregnant woman and three children who perished in a September 2012 attack.
In Pakistan, Amnesty International investigated nine suspected U.S. drone strikes that occurred between May 2012 and July 2013 in the territory of North Waziristan. The group said it found strong evidence that more than 30 civilians were killed in four of the attacks.
The basic circumstances of each of the drone strikes had been previously reported by local and international news outlets. But the human rights groups said they were able to shed further light on the incidents by interviewing survivors, other witnesses and government officials in both countries.