ISLAMABAD: People of Pakistan, and many human rights organisations across the world have been flaying the US over the high death toll of civilians from their drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan. However, a new report put together by the Associated Press discovers that the reported civilian casualty figure may be inflated.
The Associated Press sent its reporter to conduct an exhaustive, on the ground tally, interviewing inhabitants of 80 villages where 10 of the deadliest drone strikes had taken place.
In their interviews, they found out that at least 194 people were killed in the 10 strikes. Of these, at least 70 per cent, 138 deaths, were of militants. The rest, 56 deaths, were of either civilians or tribal police.
A research report by Bureau of Investigative Journalism for the Sunday Times and The Express Tribune in August, 2011 revealed that since 2004, when the strikes started, 291 attacks had claimed up to 2,200 credible deaths, and 1,100 injured. The strikes killed 168 children among at least 385 civilians and non-combatants.
A US government internal tally for the deaths, communicated to the Bureau, stood at 2,050, with 50 civilian deaths since 2004.