US Drone Attacks Spike in Yemen

(Reuters)

US Drone Attacks Spike in Yemen

Fourth drone attack in one week as Obama administration focuses on Yemen

At least three people were killed by a US drone attack in Yemen late Saturday in the fourth such strike in a week, local officials told Al-Jazeera.

The remote controlled aircraft fired missiles at a vehicle near the village of al-Manaseh in Rada, following similar attacks throughout Yemen against alleged militants throughout the course of the week. US drone strikes commonly take the lives of innocent civilians while US and Yemen officials claim the victims are militants, as the Washington Postrecently reported.

The United States recently admitted responsibility for a September attack in Yemen that killed 11 civilians, including three children.

Such indiscriminate killings are increasingly common in Yemen, as new figures released by the New America Foundation reveal that publicly acknowledged U.S. drone strikes steadily increased throughout 2012--from 18 to 53 in Yemen this year alone.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism provides the following statistics:

US Covert Action in Yemen 2002-2012

Total confirmed US operations (all): 54-64
Total confirmed US drone strikes: 42-53
Possible extra US operations: 125-144
Possible extra US drone strikes: 67-80
Total reported killed (all): 374-1,068
Total civilians killed (all): 72-171
Children killed (all): 27-35

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