AP investigation of US drone strikes in Pakistan

February 25, 2012 - 11:35 AM

The Associated Press conducted a rare, on-the-ground investigation of casualties from U.S. drone missile strikes in Pakistan, interviewing around 80 villagers at the sites of 10 of the deadliest attacks over the past 18 months in North Waziristan, the main sanctuary for militants in the rugged tribal region along the Afghan border. Details from those accounts are included below:

August 10, 2011: Missiles hit a compound near Miran Shah, killing at least 20 Afghan and Pakistani Taliban fighters.

May 6, 2011: Missiles hit a vehicle parked near a restaurant in Dotoi village, killing 16 people, including 10 Taliban militants and six tribesmen. U.S. officials said only militants were killed.

April 22, 2011: Missiles hit a compound in Hasan Khel village, killing 25 people, including 20 militants, three children and two women. U.S. officials said no women or children were observed in the compound prior to the strike.

March 17, 2011: Missiles hit a community meeting, or jirga, being held in Shiga village to resolve a local mining dispute, killing 42 people, including four Pakistani Taliban militants, six tribal policemen and 32 other tribesmen. U.S. officials said the death toll was roughly half of what locals reported and claimed they were all militants.

January 1, 2011: Missiles hit a vehicle and other people on foot in Mandi Khel village, killing 14 Taliban militants.

December 27, 2010: Missiles hit a vehicle in Sheratala Madi Khel village, killing at least 18 militants, including four foreigners.

November 16, 2010: Missiles hit a vehicle and a compound in Bhangi Dar village, killing 20 militants.

October 13, 2010: Missiles hit vehicles in the Lataka area, killing 11 militants, including four foreigners.

October 2, 2010: Missiles hit a vehicle in the Inzer Kas area, killing at least 14 militants.

August 14, 2010: Missiles hit a compound in Issori Boikhel village, killing 14 people, including seven Pakistani Taliban fighters and seven tribesmen. U.S. officials said assessments indicated all those killed were militants.

U.S. counterterrorism officials disputed the death tolls and other details about some of the strikes, including the exact locations, but declined to be quoted by name or make their information public. One said the U.S. "had no reliable evidence" that civilians were killed in any of the strikes examined and questioned the reliability of villagers' accounts.