NPR : News

Filed Under:

Pakistan Says Drones Killed Far Fewer Civilians Than Thought

While human rights groups and other watchdogs have put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that just 3 percent of the deaths from U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were noncombatants.

The ministry says 317 drone strikes have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians in the last five years.

According to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, the ministry also says there hasn't been a single civilian death from a U.S. drone since January 2012 — a time period that saw 300 such strikes carried out in Pakistani territory.

Dawn says:

"[This] year has witnessed the lowest number of drone strikes which are 14 as compared to 2010 when the US hit Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas 115 times through drone attacks."

Even so, the strikes have been publicly condemned by Islamabad and were reportedly the subject of discussions last week between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Obama during the Pakistani leader's visit to Washington.

The Pakistan Defense Ministry's conclusion is similar to one reached by the U.S. Army War College in a report that we wrote about last month. The War College report said 26 militants were killed for every confirmed civilian death, a ratio that comes out to just under 4 percent.

A United Nations expert said earlier this month, however, that at least 400 civilians had been killed since 2004, or about 18 percent of the total 2,200 drone strike deaths.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

The office has long been seen as a symbol of boredom: It's a killer of spirits, a destroyer of spontaneity. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says a new book brings out its entertaining side.
NPR

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

Two growers are competing to harvest fresh figs earlier and earlier in hopes of transforming the industry for year-round production. But some fig lovers say they can hold out for summer fruit.
WAMU 88.5

On National Mall, Native Americans Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

Native Americans from across the country are visiting Washington this week to protest the construction of a controversial pipeline in the Midwest.
NPR

Life Outside The Fast Lane: Startups Wary Of Web Traffic Plan

The Federal Communications Commission's proposal would let Web companies pay for faster access. But entrepreneurs, like Reddit's co-founder, are wondering how they would have fared with such rules.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.