14:11 23 October 2013
Amnesty International, a human rights group, has released a report suggesting that US drone airstrikes could have constitute war crimes as they may have resulted in unlawful killings of innocents.
The group is now calling on the US to investigate civilian deaths. The reports added that a number of victims who died as a result of the recent air strikes were unarmed.
Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International's Pakistan researcher, said: "We cannot find any justification for these killings. There are genuine threats to the USA and its allies in the region, and drone strikes may be lawful in some circumstances.
“But it is hard to believe that a group of labourers, or an elderly woman surrounded by her grandchildren, were endangering anyone at all, let alone posing an imminent threat to the United States."
After reviewing nine recent drone strikes, Amnesty is calling on the US to comply with its obligations under international law by conducting a thorough investigation on killings that were documented on the report. It also suggests providing victims with full reparation.
Activists have stated that drones kill innocents in ‘double taps’ whereby civilians are destroyed when they attempt to help the wounded from the first strike.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said: "We are reviewing these reports carefully.
"To the extent these reports claim that the US has acted contrary to international law, we would strongly disagree.
"The administration has repeatedly emphasized the extraordinary care that we take to make sure counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable law."
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