Over 60% of US drone targets in Pakistan are homes – research
May 25 2014
The CIA has been bombing Pakistan’s domestic buildings more than any other targets over the past decade of the drone war launched by the US, says the latest research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Almost two thirds, or over 60 percent, of all US drone strikes in Pakistan targeted domestic buildings, says joint research conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), a London-based non-profit news group, along with Forensic Architecture, a research unit based at Goldsmiths University, London, and Situ Research in New York.
The authors of the paper analyzed thousands of media reports, witness testimonies and field investigations to obtain the data on drone strikes in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
According to the study, at least 132 houses have been destroyed in more than 380 strikes over the past decade with at least 222 civilians being among the 1,500 or more people killed.
“On average, 6.2 people and 0.9 reported civilians died per strike on domestic buildings,” says the paper, adding that these numbers may be conservative because the Bureau “has found the deaths of women are dramatically underreported.”
The seclusion of women and children in the country which orders them to spend more time indoors make them more vulnerable to drone strikes, according to the BIJ’s ‘Naming the Dead’ project.
Women and children are less likely to be seen “by [a] drone operator monitoring the structure,” says Susan Schuppli, senior research fellow at Forensic Architecture and the project coordinator.
The paper adds that domestic buildings are more likely to be attacked at night compared with in the afternoon.
“Strikes that took place in the evening, when families are likely to be at home and gathered together, were particularly deadly,” says the paper.