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Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:50PM
A US Predator drone fires a Hellfire missile. (File photo)

A US Predator drone fires a Hellfire missile. (File photo)

Four separate US drone attacks have claimed the lives of nearly two dozen people in different regions of the war-ravaged Afghanistan over the past 48 hours, local security sources say. According to local Afghan officials, at least ten people were killed as two airstrikes ripped through the eastern Kunar Province near the border with Pakistan. Also on Friday, two people lost their lives in a similar attack in Nuristan Province. Earlier, eleven people died and scores more were wounded in the southern province of Kandahar. Washington claims its drone attacks target militants. But, reports on the ground say civilians frequently fall victims to such attacks as well as US-led nighttime raids. Many civilians have lost their lives in US-led strikes and operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past decade, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of the deadly assaults. The Afghan government has on numerous occasions warned Washington to stop attacks on innocent civilians. Civilian casualties caused by foreign forces have been a major source of tension between Kabul and Washington. The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains high in the country. US drone strikes have escalated significantly over the past year, fueling anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes 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. JR/SS
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