War Crimes: Drones targeting mourners and rescuers


Gareth Porter talks with Paul Jay of The Real News about drone strikes in Pakistan. New research has shown that civilian casualties have been massively under-reported. Also, deliberate targeting of rescuers and funerals is being carried out.

Transcript@
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8722
Video


And combining all that data, what we find is that the number of—the proportion, I should say, of the civilian casualties and the total casualties which was reported by the New America Foundation as being 38 percent in these 24 strikes is in fact 70 percent.

That’s a huge difference, an 84 percent increase in the proportion of civilians in those casualties reported in these 24 strikes. So it’s really quite a major revelation. It’s a major reversal, because previously civilian casualties were being reported as a fairly—certainly much less than 50 percent, and now they’re much more than 50 percent of the casualties in this set of 24 strikes.

And let me make it clear that the 13 strikes that I talked about having been researched by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism were all strikes which are precisely the ones that you were talking about. They’re strikes that are targeted against either mourners at funerals of victims of previous drone strikes or striking at the rescuers of people who have been either killed or wounded in previous drone strikes. So, obviously, this is a very important category of drone strikes. And what we find is that the percentage of civilians (again, in the strikes that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism researched, based on local context, eyewitnesses and others) was much higher. It was roughly twice as high as it had been reported by the New America Foundation.

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