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US’ ‘secretive drone war’ killed 4,700, says senator

Last Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 13:03

Islamabad: Nearly 4,700 people, including some civilians, have been killed in the contentious bombing raids of America’s secretive drone war, a US senator has said.

But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the drone raids, openly cited a number that exceeds some independent estimates of the death toll.

Graham was quoted as saying by the Easley Patch, a local website covering the small town of Easley in South Carolina, that ‘sometimes you hit innocent people, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of al Qaeda’.

According to the Dawn, it was the first time a lawmaker or any government representative had referred to a total number of fatalities in the drone strikes, which have been condemned by rights groups as extrajudicial assassinations.

The toll from hundreds of drone-launched missile strikes against suspected al Qaeda militants in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere has remained a mystery, as US officials refuse to publicly discuss any details of the covert campaign.

According to the paper, Graham’s office did not dispute his reported remarks, but suggested that he had not divulged any official, classified government figure.


First Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 13:03
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