Pakistan Says Drones Killed Far Fewer Civilians Than Thought | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

The Daily Show isn't the only fake news show around. South Africa has Late Nite News, starring comedian Loyiso Gola. We asked him how he feels about Noah's new job — and what advice he has to offer.
NPR

The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

British colonialists brought lamb ham to America, where a sugar-cured, smoked variety became popular. Easier-to-cure pork ham eventually took its place, but now two Virginians are bringing it back.
NPR

Analysts Divided Over Obama's Diplomatic Gamble On Iran

Even before he won the White House in 2008, President Obama discussed redefining the U.S. relationship with Iran.
NPR

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

In Africa, where there aren't always roads from Point A to Point B, drones could take critical medicines to remote spots. But the airborne vehicles make people uneasy for lots of reasons.

Leave a Comment

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