PESHAWAR: Some 32 people died in three CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, making this the bloodiest month since July 2012. This was stated by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, United Kingdom, in its report on the drone strikes for July 2014. It said the strikes all reportedly occurred in and around Dattakhel in North Waziristan.
“The high death toll from just three attacks dramatically increased the casualty rate – the average number of people killed in each strike on average. This month the casualty rate was 10.7 people per strike. That is more than double the rate for June (4.6) and the highest since April 2011, when 24 people died in two attacks,” the report noted.
It added: “Just three of those killed have been named. All were members of al Qaeda according to Sanafi al Nasr, a Syrian-based al Qaeda leader, who eulogised the men. Fayez Awda al Khalidi, Taj al Makki and Abu Abdurahman al Kuwaiti died with three unnamed men in an attack on July 10 that reportedly destroyed a house and vehicle in Mada Khel village, near to Dattakhel.
“July 16 saw the largest strike in Pakistan in over a year, killing at least 15 people. The CIA were targetting an important meeting, according to an unnamed security official. However one source said two mosques were targetted, killing 12 “people” in one and eight “people” in the other, without specifying whether they were civilians or members of an armed group. The Bureau has been unable to confirm these possible civilian casualties, or the report of strikes on mosques,” the report explained.
The report said that three days later on July 19, Madakhel village was reportedly hit again. At least 11 people died when a drone reportedly fired multiple missiles at a building or group of buildings.
It said the Pakistani Army offensive against the Taliban in North Waziristan continued. The Pakistan military claimed to have killed more than 500 militants with no civilian casualties since the offensive began in June.
“On July 16 the military bombed the remote Shawal valley near the border of North and South Waziristan. The military claimed to have killed 35 militants,” the Bureau of Investigative Journalism report said. It added that the AFP later reported that 37 civilians were killed, “including 20 women and 10 children”.
The report said the military offensive has cleared entire towns of people, reportedly displacing a million people. It added that over 75,000 are said to have gone to Afghanistan and more than 990,000 have been registered in Pakistani camps just outside North Waziristan.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recalled that a total of 389 US drone strikes have been carried out in Pakistan since 2004. It noted that 338 of those strikes were authorized by President Barack Obama. It said the number of those killed in these strikes totalled 2,342 to 3,789. Its estimates from open sources showed that 416-957 civilians and 168-202 children were killed in these strikes. Besides, the report said the total number of those injured to-date in the drone strikes was 1,101,657.
This link takes you to a graph of the drone strikes in Pakistan.
Dated July 10, 2014