Thursday, August 11, 2011

'168 Pakistani kids killed by US strikes'

Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:5PM GMT
There has been one drone attack every four days under President Obama. (file photo)
A new report reveals the non-UN sanctioned US drone strikes have killed up to 168 children in Pakistan over the last seven years.

Research by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that CIA drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal belt have led to far more deaths than previously mentioned.

It says just over four percent of the nearly 2,900 people killed in the drone attacks have been militants.

It reports the CIA has carried out 291 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004 -- a figure eight percent higher than in previous research.

Over 80 percent of all strikes have been carried out under President Barack Obama administration. This breaks down to one strike every four days.

Washington claims its air raids target militants who cross the Pakistani border into Afghanistan to help the Taliban fight US-led foreign forces.

However, locals say civilians are the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned attacks.

A recent report by the Brookings Institution says the illegal strikes have taken the lives of 10 civilians for every militant killed.

Islamabad has repeatedly condemned the strikes as a violation of its sovereignty, asserting that such attacks have proved counterproductive in US-led war against terrorism.

The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law.

Philip Alston, UN special envoy on extrajudicial killings, said in a report in late October 2010 that the attacks were undermining the rules designed to protect the right of life.

Alston also said he feared that the drone killings by the US Central Intelligence Agency could develop a "playstation" mentality.



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