The death toll resulting from US drone strikes in Pakistan has continued to rise at an alarming rate, according to a recent report.

Navid Ahmed, an investigative journalist and academic in Islamabad said that despite the rising number of people losing their lives as a result of the drone strikes, the United States government has consistently failed to record the true numbers of people who perish as a result of their drones.

Drones are a particularly pernicious weapon in which unmanned aerial vehicles are remotely sent to other regions of the world to either spy on, or increasingly kill other citizens.

In the latest drone attack in Pakistan last week, at least three people lost their lives but there were no reports of injuries.

In the first such strike this month, unmanned US aircraft fired four missiles at a house in the Sarai Darpa Khel area of North Waziristan on July 3, killing 17 people.

The US government claim that the only people who are killed by drones are members of the Taliban.

However this has been increasingly shown not to be the case. In an interview with Press TV, Ahmed, said: “[There is] another aspect to it and that’s those who are injured. In Peshawar,….there are scores of people who are drone strike victims, who are survivors who are not being counted at all. While their lives are totally destroyed, they have lost their limbs, they have disabilities, and they have scars.

“This is all something that has not been recounted and on top of it all, we surely don’t know what the exact death toll is and how many of them are those who should not have been killed or affected by this.”

Disturbingly, one drone operator in the US, said that for him, sending killer drones to other countries was “just like playing a video game”.

The unnamed operator was quoted in the Guardian as saying: “It is a lot like playing a video game. But playing the same video game four years straight on the same level.”

He also admitted that his bombs often miss the people who he was aiming at.  According to data published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism last December, there have been almost 1,200 drone strikes by US and British forces in the past five years on targets in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and, by the CIA, in Pakistan.

Last year, a report by the Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law gave a chilling  account of the effect that assassination drone strikes have on ordinary people in Pakistan’s tribal areas. It also revealed that the professed targets of the drone strikes – Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists – are very rarely on the receiving ends of the strikes, while ordinary people are.

“The number of ‘high-level’ targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low – estimated at just two percent,” the report stated.

Furthermore, the report revealed that  US strikes have facilitated recruitment to violent non-state armed groups, and motivated further violent attacks.

It revealed how drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning.

Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.

According to the report: “These fears have affected behavior. The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims.

“Some community members shy away from gathering in groups, including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators. Some parents choose to keep their children home, and children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school.”

From June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 474,881 civilians in Pakistan, including 176 children.

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