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MOD reveal civilian deaths from drones in Afghanistan

18 June, 2012

MoD says four non-combatants and an unknown number of Taliban fighters have been killed in strikes since 2008

A Reaper drone

A Reaper drone like the ones the British are using in Afghanistan.
NOTE: The  bomb release mechanisms between the missiles and the  the wings are what ITT Exelis (EDO MBM) in Brighton make.  See diary for Smash EDO day of action 16th July. There are train tickets for £9 single at present.

Nick Hopkins of The Guardian reported on 18th June:

The British military is increasingly relying on unmanned drones to wage war against the Taliban, and has fired more than 280 laser-guided Hellfire missiles and bombs at suspected insurgents, new figures reveal.

In the past year alone, the remotely controlled Reaper aircraft have flown more than 11,000 hours over southern Afghanistan and attacked targets with 105 high-impact precision weapons.

But the use of the drones, which are flown by RAF pilots from a US air force base in Nevada, is raising fresh concerns among human rights lawyers and MPs.

The Ministry of Defence says only four Afghan civilians have been killed in its drone strikes since 2008. However, it also says it has no idea how many insurgents have died, because of the “immense difficulty and risks” of verifying who has been hit.

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