Likely US Drone Adds to Tally of Extrajudicial Killings in Yemen

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Common Dreams

Likely US Drone Adds to Tally of Extrajudicial Killings in Yemen

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Protesters burn an effigy of a US aircraft during a demonstration to protest against what they say is US interference in Yemen, including drone strikes, in the Old Sanaa city April 12, 2013. (Reuters /Khaled Abdullah)

A drone flying over southern Yemen bombed a passenger van on Saturday, killing at least four people and wounding several others, a local official said.

"The official said the strike took place at dawn on Saturday on a road to the north of Jaar in Abyan Governorate, near Aden. He did not say who was behind the strike, but previous drone strikes have been carried out by the United States," Reuters reports.

The identities and affiliations of the victims have not been confirmed. The US military has not yet denied or confirmed the strike.

The U.S. has increased drone strikes in Yemen in recent months, with over six recorded fatalities by drone strikes reported in April and another six fatalities in January.

Drone strikes in Yemen gained wider U.S. attention within corporate media last month when a Yemeni national named Farea Al-muslimi appeared before a Senate subcommittee hearing on the Obama administration's drone and targeted killing program.

Al-muslimi detailed a US drone strike on his village, Wessab, in Yemen and told the bipartisan panel of Senators that, “What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: There is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America.”

Al-Muslimi among other witnesses at the hearing told of the murderous effects of U.S. drone strikes—emphasizing that the U.S. drone program is causing widespread anger and hatred towards the U.S.

"Most of the world has never heard of Wessab. But just six days ago, my village was struck by a drone, in an attack that terrified thousands of simple, poor farmers," Muslimi said in prepared testimony. "The drone strike and its impact tore my heart, much as the tragic bombings in Boston last week tore your hearts and also mine."

"The drone strikes are the face of America to many Yemenis."

At last count, since 2002 there have been up to 95 U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, which have killed up to 438 people including two children.

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