A U.S. drone attack Friday killed at least five people in Afghanistan. According to security sources, the attack left several other people injured in the northeastern part of the country.
The incident took place in Kunar province. While the details of the people killed in the drone attack have not been revealed, provincial officials claimed that they were Taliban militants. They said that one of the commanders had also been killed in the attack. According to local residents, however, the drone attack killed civilians.
Press TV reported that U.S. drone attacks, introduced under former President George W. Bush and escalated by President Barack Obama, have killed hundreds of civilians and injured several others over the last few years in Afghanistan.
Three separate U.S. drone attacks Saturday killed at least 45 in eastern Nangahar province. Kunar is often used by al-Qaeda and Taliban militants to launch attacks on neighboring provinces.
While Washington has maintained its stance in the past few years that the drone attacks kill militants, witnesses and local officials claim that the main victims of the attacks are civilians. Turkish Weekly and other media outlets claimed that Taliban commander Mullah Wali Quraish and his deputy had been killed in the drone attack.
Provincial Police Chief General Abdul Habib Sayedkhil said that the U.S. drone had been directed to a suspected Taliban hideout near the Pakistan border. “Since Kunar is a mountainous province covered with trees, it is almost impossible to track insurgent groups,” Sayedkhil said, “Drone strikes against insurgent hideouts and convoys have been one of the best ways to tackle the increasing insurgency in the province.”
Nabila ur Rehman has become the face of innocent Afghan civilians who are victims of U.S. drone attacks. In October 2012, the 9-year-old girl saw her grandmother slaughtered by a drone. Huffington Post reported that U.S. drone attacks had killed around 1,000 civilians and more than 100 children in Pakistan alone.
The United Nations has been critical of U.S. drones for its“targeted killings.” According to Obama, drone attacks should be viewed as “self-defense.”