US approves plan to beef up govt 'oversight' of drone attacks

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US approves plan to beef up govt 'oversight' of drone attacks

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:02 am

The panel voted to approve legislative language requiring US spy agencies to make public statistics on people killed or injured from drone strikes
ANI | Islamabad November 10, 2013 Last Updated at 16:11 IST

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has approved a plan to step up government oversight of the use of armed drones to kill suspected militants overseas, including American citizens.

The committee voted in closed session to approve legislative language that would require US spy agencies to make public statistics on how many people were killed or injured from drone strikes, the Daily Times reports.

According to the report, the Obama administration has been under immense pressure from foreign governments, the United Nations and human rights groups to be more transparent and rigorous in accounting for the civilian casualties caused by drone strikes.

The Obama administration drastically increased the number of drone strikes after it took office in 2009 but attacks have dropped off in the last year, the report said.

Pakistan's North Waziristan is the area of the most intensive US drone campaign in the world.

The United States has also attacked militants in Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia with drones.

Last month, Pakistan told the United Nations that at least 400 civilians were among the approximately 2,200 people killed by drone strikes in the past decade, the report said.

The Bill approved by the committee now must go before the full Senate.

The House of Representatives would also have to approve the bill, and the president signs it, for it to become law.

If the language approved by the committee becomes law, the president would be obliged to issue a report setting out the total number of combatants killed or injured in US drone strikes abroad once a year, the report added.


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