4 March 2010
One in Three Killed by US Drones in Pakistan Is a Civilian, Report Claims
One in three "militants" killed in US Predator Drone attacks in Pakistan's remote tribal areas is in fact a civilian, according to a report by an American think tank.
by Dean Nelson
The Daily Telegraph
The report, by the Washington-based New America Foundation, will fuel growing
criticism of the use of unmanned drones in the fight against al-Qaeda and Taliban
militants, who use Pakistan as a base for attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.
Critics say their use not only takes innocent lives, but amounts to unlawful
extra-judicial killing of militants.
The report by Peter Bergen and Katherine
Tiedemann found that 32 per cent of those
Their report, The Year of the Drone, studied 114 drone raids in which more
"The true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is
The number of drone attacks has increased dramatically since Barack Obama replaced George W Bush as US president early last year.
There were 45 drone attacks during Mr Bush's two terms of government,
compared with 51 during the first year of Mr Obama's new administration. In the
first two months
Despite the controversy surrounding the scale of civilian deaths, and public
Since last autumn, they have killed the Taliban's notorious leader Baitullah
In 2008, Pakistani intelligence sources said they had killed Rashid Rauf, the
Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al Zawahiri is believed to had a lucky escape when a drone struck a compound he had recently left.
Taliban leaders this week confirmed another of their top leaders Mohammed Qari Zafar had been killed in north Waziristan.
He was believed to have organised the 2006 bombing of the American embassy in Karachi.
The report said although civilian casualty figures are high, they did not
"Despite the controversy drone strikes are likely to remain a critical tool