U.S Drone Strike on Yemeni Wedding Party Kills 17
This is bound to exacerbate anti-Americanism, extremism and terrorism.
The following article reports that Yemeni officials suspected “five of those killed of involvement in AlQaeda.” Such initial claims have proven to be false in the past.
By Zaid Ali and Laura King (LA Times)
SANA, Yemen — Anger over the American drone campaign against militants in Yemen swelled Friday with word that most of those killed in a strike a day earlier were civilians in a wedding party.
The death toll reached 17 overnight, hospital officials in central Bayda province said Friday. Five of those killed were suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda, but the remainder were unconnected with the militancy, Yemeni security officials said.
U.S. drone strikes have become commonplace in Yemen, where government measures have proven ineffectual against what is considered one of the most virulent Al Qaeda offshoots in the region.
However, civilian deaths like those in Thursday’s strike have inflamed popular sentiment against both the U.S. and the fragile central government.
The Obama administration generally does not publicly disclose individual strikes, though it has acknowledged the existence of the drone campaign. Human rights groups in recent months have called for greater transparency about drone strikes.
The incident is likely to fuel existing concerns in Congress and elsewhere about the White House’s stated intention to move most of the drone program under military control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for example, said in May that she believed the military had not been as patient or precise in drone strikes as the CIA has been.
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