Meeting A Drone Victim Before His Death
by Pratap Chatterjee, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
November 4th, 2011
A week ago I joined a group of elders and dozens of other young men who had travelled from Waziristan, in northern Pakistan, to Islamabad to discuss the impact of US drone strikes in their communities.
Among the group was Tariq Aziz, a quiet 16-year-old, who had come after he received a phone call from a lawyer in Islamabad offering him an opportunity to learn basic photography to help document these strikes.
We met for a grand dinner in the conference hall of a luxury hotel. The next day we all met again at an official meeting – a ‘Waziristan Grand Jirga’. I filmed Tariq Aziz as he walked in with his friends. Each of them pressed their right palms on the chest of each of the elders who lined up to meet them.
ISAF Data Show Night Raids Killed over 1,500 Afghan Civilians
Analysis by Gareth Porter*
WASHINGTON, Nov 2, 2011 (IPS) – U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) killed well over 1,500 civilians in night raids in less than 10 months in 2010 and early 2011, analysis of official statistics on the raids released by the U.S.-NATO command reveals.
That number would make U.S. night raids by far the largest cause of civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan. The report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on civilian casualties in 2010 had said the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by insurgents was the leading cause of civilian deaths, with 904.
Except for a relatively few women and children killed by accident, the civilians who died in the raids were all adult males who were counted as insurgents in press releases and official data released by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).