As many as 2,043 people, mostly civilians, were killed in US drone attacks in northwestern parts of Pakistan during the last five years, a research has revealed.
The yearly report of Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC) has termed the CIA drone strikes as an 'assassination campaign turning out to be revenge campaign', and showed that 2010 was the deadliest year ever of causalities resulted in drone-hits in Pakistan.
According to the report, 134 drone attacks were reported in Pakistan's FATA region in 2010 alone, inflicting 929 causalities. December 17 was the deadliest day of 2010 when three drone attacks killed 54 people in Khyber Agency.
Regarding civilian causalities and attacks on women and children, the report said: "People in the tribal belt usually carry guns and ammunition as a tradition. US drone will identify anyone carrying a gun as a militant and subsequently he will be killed."
"Many times, people involved in rescue activities also come under attack. The assumption that these people are supporters of militants is quite wrong," The Nation quoted the CMC report, as stating.
The document cited the Brooking Institute's research, which suggested that with every militant killed, nearly ten civilians also died.
It also mentioned a related research report of Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), which underlined that at least 2,100 civilians were killed and various others injured during 2009, in the ongoing war on terror and drone attacks.
"It is unclear whether CIA counter-checks human intelligence with other available sources or not. Because in Afghanistan and Pakistani tribal belt people use to settle their personal enmity by accusing their opponent as militant and passing wrong information to US forces," it stated.
The CMC report also revealed that Pakistan and US were deliberately concealing civilian deaths, and that they lacked any proper mechanism to ascertain civilian deaths, and it also accused the FATA Secretariat for overlooking civilian causalities.
"Civilian casualties were deliberately overlooked to avert the public reaction," the report said. (ANI)