Islamabad: The United States’ ‘covert’ drone war in Pakistan has reached a grim milestone with the 300th attack on alleged militants in South Waziristan Agency on Friday night, according to a research by a London-based not-for-profit organisation.
“Just before dawn on Saturday, CIA drones struck a housing compound in Angor Adda, South Waziristan. Up to six alleged militants died in the attack with at least three injured. The casualties were linked to local militant commander Maulvi Nazir. He is viewed as hostile by the US because of militant attacks inside Afghanistan, despite his having a long-standing peace deal with Pakistan,” the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said.
It said it has now identified 300 drone strikes since June 17, 2004, of which, 248 have occurred during US President Barack Obama’s three years in office, rising to a frequency of one strike every four days.
According to a detailed analysis of the attacks, at least 2,318 people have been killed in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) campaign, the majority of them alleged militants
But among them, at least 386 civilians – and as many as 775 – have reportedly died, the Bureau’s investigations show, including more than 170 children. And more than 1,100 people have been reported injured.
The CIA itself recently admitted to killing 2,050 people with its drones – all but 50 of them combatants – after the Bureau published its database in August.
Despite substantial evidence published by the Bureau of civilian deaths caused by its strikes, the US continues to claim that it has killed no ‘non-combatants’ in Pakistan since May 2010, the report said.
The Bureau said its data is drawn from reputable sources, including international news agencies and credible Pakistani media.
It is also cross-referenced where possible against leaked US intelligence documents and diplomatic cables; the writings of academics, politicians and former intelligence officials; pending legal cases; and some commissioned field work in Waziristan.