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Report: U.S. drone strikes kill 28 for every intended target

The group Reprieve says 1,147 people have died in pursuit of 41 intended targets.

By Ed Adamczyk
Report: U.S. drone strikes kill 28 for every intended target
An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle comes in for a landing at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. FILE/UPI/Erik Gudmundson/U.S. Air Force | License Photo

LONDON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed 28 people for every intended target, a British human rights advocacy group said Tuesday.

A report by the London- and New York-headquartered group Reprieve said as many as 1,147 unidentified people have been killed in drone strikes since 2002 in failed attempts to kill 41 identified people. It provides an estimate of those killed each time the United States hunts what is regards as a "high value target," and notes 76 children and 29 adults were killed in drone strikes targeting al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri on two occasions, who survived.

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"Drone strikes have been sold to the American public on the claim that they're 'precise'. But they are only as precise as the intelligence that feeds them. There is nothing precise about intelligence that results in the deaths of 28 unknown people, including women and children, for every 'bad guy' the US goes after," said Reprieve's Jennifer Gibson.

The data for the report is from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and only includes information of collateral deaths resulting from specific targeting of individuals. The British newspaper the Guardian noted problems with analyzing drone strike data includes the secretive nature of the actions, compelling reliance on local media sources, as well as unofficial and imprecise available information.

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The report notes the data draws "into question the Obama Administration's repeated claims that the covert drone program is 'precise.'"

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