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Nearly dozen killed in US drone strikes in eastern Afghanistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, an MQ-9 Reaper stands ready and fully armed on the flight line of Kandahar Air Field with four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, one GBU-12 Paveway II, and one GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack munitions mounted on its wings.

Afghan authorities say at least 11 people have lost their lives in two separate US drone strikes in the Asian country’s beleaguered eastern province of Nangarhar.

Haji Ghalib, governor of the Achin district in the province, located 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of the provincial capital, Jalalabad, said eight people were killed on Friday afternoon, when a drone struck the area.

He noted that another aerial assault targeted the Bandar area of Nangarhar later in the day, killing three people.

According to Ghalib, the attack targeted Daesh Takfiri terrorists. 

The CIA spy agency regularly uses drones for airstrikes and spying missions in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border.

Washington has also been conducting targeted killings through remotely-controlled armed drones in Somalia and Yemen.

The US says the airstrikes target members of al-Qaeda and other militants, but according to local officials and witnesses, civilians have in most cases been the victims of the attacks.

The United Nations says the US drone attacks are “targeted killings” that flout international law.

Earlier this month, an American whistleblower, known as the New Snowden in media, leaked a set of secret documents to the Intercept, revealing the details of the US drone campaign in different countries, including Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Based on the documents, Washington’s drone program, which began after 9/11 attacks in New York under the pretext of fighting terrorism, “suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and - due to a preference for assassination rather than capture - an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects,” wrote the Intercept.

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