US drones killed 123 civilians, three al-Qaeda men in January
The Pakistani newspaper, The News alleges that:
“Afghanistan-based US predators carried out a record number of 12 deadly missile strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan in January 2010, of which 10 went wrong and failed to hit their targets, killing 123 innocent Pakistanis. The remaining two successful drone strikes killed three al-Qaeda leaders, wanted by the Americans.
The rapid increase in the US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal areas bordering Afghanistan can be gauged from the fact that only two such strikes were carried out in January 2009, which killed 36 people. The highest number of drone attacks carried out in a single month in 2009 was six, which were conducted in December last year. . .”
But other sources speak of US drone attacks regularly killing “militants,”— GEO TV counts 9 dead since late Friday. So The News coding of all the non-al-Qaeda killed as “civilians” seems disingenuous. Some proportion of them were armed Pashtun guerrillas.
What is indisputable is that the number of drone strikes is way up in January in the wake of the suicide bombing on the CIA’s Forward Operating Base Campbell.
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