An internal document from the Pakistani government claims that one in five victims of U.S. drone strikes is civilian, and roughly 12 percent are under the age of 18. The 12-page report, titled “Details of Attacks by NATO Forces/Predators in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas),” looks at 75 recent US drone attacks in the country’s rural border regions. The document analyzes attacks from 2006 to 2009.
The report totals a number of 746 casualties. Of that, 147 victims were confirmed to be civilians, and of those, 94 were children.
According to CIA Director John Brennan, “we only authorize a strike if we have a high degree of confidence that innocent civilians will not be injured or killed, except in the rarest of circumstances.” No official figures are available from the CIA as the drone program is considered a classified program. Because of this classification, neither the CIA nor the president have to report to the U.S. Senate or the American public.
According to RT, independent sources estimate 2,500 to 3,500 people have been killed in drone strikes within Pakistan since 2004.
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