Pak civilian deaths due to US drone strikes lowest since 2008
Islamabad: Less number of civilians in Pakistan have died in US drone strikes so far this year compared to any other time in the last four years, according to a report.
According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, three to 24 civilians were reported killed by drones in Pakistan from January to June.
The report pointed out that civilian casualty rates have not been so low since the first half of 2008, when 12-21 civilians reportedly died under former US president George W Bush.
The bureau added that it was also a marked decline on the 62-103 civilians reported killed by drone strikes in Pakistan in the first six months of 2011, The Daily Times reports.
According to the paper, US drones target Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, where journalists and aid workers do not have independent access.
The decline in casualties correlates to a decline in attacks as relations between Islamabad and Washington tarnished since Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May 2011 and after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November.