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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Secret Pakistan Report Documents High Civilian Death Toll from U.S. Drone Strikes

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 

Drone Victim, Noor Syed, aged 8, killed in drone strike
Hundreds of Pakistanis have been killed in U.S. drone strikes, many of them civilian adults and children, according to a secret document produced by Pakistan’s government.

The document reveals that 746 people were killed in 75 drone attacks strikes from 2006 through late 2009, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

At least 147 of the dead were civilians, including 94 children.

The figures run contrary to what the U.S. government has said about the strikes. Officials in the Obama administration have insisted that no more than 50 to 60 ‘non-combatants’ have been killed in the Central Intelligence Agency missions during nine years of bombings. CIA Director John Brennan, considered to be the architect of the drone program, has said that “collateral” deaths from such strikes are “exceedingly rare.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) claimed that they cause less than 10 civilian casualties a year worldwide.

The Bureau, which acquired the classified document from three different sources, showed a copy of it to Rauf Khan Khattak, a longtime opponent of foreign drone strikes who recently served as Pakistan’s interim finance minister and was a political agent for North Waziristan.

After reviewing the report, Khattak responded: “What you end up with in these reports is reasonably accurate, because it comes from on-the-ground sources cultivated over many years. There was no benefit in officials ‘cooking the books’ here, since this document was clearly never intended to be seen outside the civilian administration.”

The time frame covered in the report is the period during which the U.S. drone campaign was privately supported by the Pakistan government.

The 12-page report, Details of Attacks by Nato Forces/Predators in FATA, was developed by government officials for the Secretariat of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It includes details of casualties in many of the U.S. drone strikes, and also lists five attacks allegedly carried out by NATO and other unidentified forces.

-Danny Biederman, Noel Brinkerhoff

To Learn More:
Leaked Pakistani Report Confirms High Civilian Death Toll in CIA Drone Strikes (by Chris Woods, Journal of Investigative Journalism)
Get the Data: The Pakistan Government’s Secret Document (by Chris Woods, Journal of Investigative Journalism)