4,700 killed in drone strikes: US senator
KABUL (PAN): About 4,700 people, including civilians, have been killed in controversial drone strikes by the United States, an American lawmaker said on Wednesday, supporting the raids as an effective weapon against militants.
Senator Lindsey Graham, the first US legislator to give the death toll from drone attacks against suspected insurgents in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries, said: “We've killed 4,700. Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that.
Senior Al-Qaeda leaders had been eliminated in the drone-launched missile strikes, Graham told Easley Rotary Club members. “It's a weapon that needs to be used. It's a tactical weapon. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle that is now armed.”
Many of the attacks took place near the militancy-plagued Afghanistan-Pakistan border where Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups like the Haqqani Network and Al-Shabab are active, according to the senator.
While rejecting judicial oversight of drone strikes as a “crazy idea”, Graham insisted the drone campaign had been very effective.