The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, consisting of members of the British and Pakistani press, said on Sunday that the CIA’s drone strikes have allegedly targeted rescuers who responded to the scene, as well as mourners at funerals, according to The New York Times.
The Bureau, a not-for-profit organization based in London, reported that in addition to the approximately 282 to 535 civilians killed in drone attacks, “a three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners.”
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The Sunday Times of London also reported on the findings, in conjunction with the Bureau.
The Times reported that American officials are skeptical about the accuracy of the claims, “asserting that accounts might be concocted by militants or falsely confirmed by residents who fear retaliation,” however, they did acknowledge that several dozen civilians have been killed “inadvertently.”
A senior American counterterrorism official spoke to The Times anonymously, saying, “One must wonder why an effort that has so carefully gone after terrorists who plot to kill civilians has been subjected to so much misinformation.”
President Barack Obama addressed the issue in a forum on YouTube last week, saying, “I want to make sure that people understand: actually, drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.”
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President Obama’s remarks last week on the drone strikes: