Nearly half of identified drone strike victims in Pakistan are civilians: report

Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Naming the Dead project has named over 700 killed by US drones in Pakistan

Shayan Naveed August 01, 2014

KARACHI: An investigative project shows that 323 out of a little over 700 identified victims of US drones in Pakistan are reported to be civilians, including 99 children.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s ‘Naming the Dead project’ – which was launched last year -- has now recorded the names of more than 700 of the 2, 342 people reportedly killed by CIA drones in Pakistan.

According to the Bureau’s website, it uses open source materials to monitor and record all drone attacks in covert war situations, including Pakistan.

“The project launched in September 2013, publishing 568 names of people killed in more than 370 drone strikes since 2004. This is the biggest publicly available list of drone victims, and draws on the thousands of media reports, court documents and other sources that inform the Bureau’s main drones databases,” it states.

The data gathered reveals that at least 2,342 people have been killed in drone attacks in the northern tribal areas of Pakistan. Of those killed at least 416 are reported to be civilians, whereas 323 have been named.

Only 295 of the casualties have been identified as reported militants – contradicting claims by US authorities that claim that only militants are killed in drone strikes.

Furthermore, the Bureau’s report shows that there are an additional 95 people identified who are classed as ‘unknown’ and it is unclear whether they were civilians or militants.

The Bureau has identified reports suggesting that at least 168 children died in drone strikes, of whom 99 have been identified by name. Sixty-seven of these names belong to children killed in a single attack, an October 2006 strike on a madrassa in Bajaur agency that killed 81 civilians, according to the report.

At least 55 women have been reported killed in the 10-year drone war. However, only two women killed by drones have been identified by name.

They are Bibi Mamana, who was in her mid to late 60s. The report states that she was tending to a field near her home when struck by the drone, which also killed several of her grandchildren. The other identified woman is Raquel Burgos Garcia, the Spanish wife of al Qaeda member Amer Azizi.


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