Admiral Mullen refuses to rule out drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan

May 19th, 2009 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, May 19 (ANI): Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has refused to rule out unmanned drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He also said the United States cannot be successful in Afghanistan if large numbers of civilians keep getting killed during the conflict.

The number of civilians killed during US strikes in western Afghanistan is significantly less than the Afghan government has said, according to a report in a US newpaper, which cites the leading human rights group in the nation.

An investigation by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission concluded that between 90 and 100 people were killed during an operation on May 4-5 in Farah province, director Ahmad Nader Nadery told the daily. The investigation also found no evidence that white phosphorus had been used.

Afghan officials say 140 civilians were killed, including 95 children. The US military has not released its own estimate, but it suggested that militants were firing from the village when the bombs were dropped.

Villagers, however, told reporters later that the insurgents had left the area prior to the military strikes, The News reported.

Nadery told the newspaper that it appeared a “couple” of militants had been among the dead.

“Even if some Taliban remained in the village, dropping a dozen bombs into a residential area doesn’t seem to make much sense,” Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told the media. (ANI)

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