Tuesday Feb 19, 201304:29 PM GMT
UN: Drones killed more Afghan civilians in 2012
Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:26PM
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The number of U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan jumped 72 percent in 2012, killing at least 16 civilians in a sharp increase from the previous year, the UN said on Tuesday.

 

Drones are expected to take on a greater role as the Americans focus more on special forces operations.

 

Overall, the full-year toll of civilian deaths in 2012 declined compared to the previous year, according to an annual U.N. report. But the toll spiked in the second half of the year, compared to the same period a year earlier.

 

Conflict-related violence also struck more women and girls last year, with 301 killed and 563 wounded - a 20 percent increase from 2011, the report said.

 

The UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said five incidents resulted in casualties last year, with 16 civilians killed and three wounded, up from just one incident in 2011.

 

UNAMA said civilian casualties rose 13 percent to 4,431 in the second half of the last year.

 

Drones have strained relations between the U.S. and Pakistan as well as other nations where the strikes are carried out because civilians are killed alongside suspected terrorists. AP

 

FACTS & FIGURES

The United Nations has identified the U.S. as the world's number one user of “targeted killings” largely due to its drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

The CIA and the U.S. military have used drones to target and kill those Washington describes assuspected militantsin Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.

 

After Barack Obama won the presidency in the U.S., the drone strikes escalated and soon began occurring almost weekly, later nearly daily, and so became a permanent feature of life for those living in the tribal borderlands of northern Pakistan.

 

The United States has carried out more than 360 assassination drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004, killing about 3,500 people, according to a study by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

 

A report on the secret drone war in Pakistan says the attacks have killed far more civilians than acknowledged, traumatized a nation and undermined international law. InLiving Under Drones”, researchers conclude the drone strikes “terrorize men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities.” Democracy Now

 

Last year, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that an overwhelming majority of those killed by U.S. UAV strikes in Pakistan are innocent civilians. RT

 

A new report on the secret U.S. drone war in Pakistan says the attacks have killed far more civilians than acknowledged, traumatized a nation and undermined international law. In "Living Under Drones," researchers conclude the drone strikes "terrorize men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities." Democracynow

 

The study concludes that most of the militants killed in the strikes have been low-level targets whose deaths have failed to make the United States any safer. Just 2 percent of drone attack victims are said to be top militant leaders. Democracynow

 

AGB/DB

 

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