US defends drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 16:50

London: The United States has defended its drone strikes targeting al Qaeda operatives and other militant groups in Yemen and Pakistan, and rejected reports by human rights groups on legality of air strikes alleged to have killed and wounded scores of civilians.

The US said the unmanned airstrikes targeting terror suspects were least likely to result in the loss of innocent life as it takes "extraordinary care" to ensure that they comply with international law, the BBC reports.

Amnesty International claimed to have found a number of victims unarmed while reviewing nine of 45 recent drone strikes in North Waziristan.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleged that two out of six drone attacks in Yemen killed civilians at random, violating international law.

Amnesty also called on the US to disclose information and the legality of air-borne strikes carried out in Pakistan.

HRW reported that six US drone attacks in Yemen had killed 82 people, including at least 57 civilians.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has repeatedly criticised US drone strikes as a major irritant for their bilateral ties.


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First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 16:50

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