Amnesty: US Must Investigate Alleged Civilian Drone Casualties In Pakistan, Compensate Victims
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. to investigate reports of civilians killed and wounded by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan and to provide victims with "full reparation."
In a report released today, the human rights group provides details about alleged victims of the attacks. They include a 68-year-old grandmother hit while farming with her grandchildren and a group of laborers struck by missiles while gathered in a tent for a meal. Amnesty says the latter attack was followed by a second volley of missiles that hit rescuers.
The rights group says such attacks may constitute extrajudicial executions or war crimes, despite U.S. insistence that the strikes are legal. It criticizes U.S. drone policy for setting a dangerous precedent "that other states may seek to exploit to avoid responsibility for their own unlawful killings." It adds that Washington's refusal to acknowledge the strikes, "coupled with Pakistan's ambiguous attitude towards the drone program" make it almost impossible for civilian victims to seek redress.
The U.S. has carried out nearly 350 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, mostly in North Waziristan, a tribal area near the Afghan border that serves as a major militant sanctuary.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.