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Few killed by CIA drones in Pakistan have been named

Just before noon on October 30 2011, a CIA drone attacked a vehicle near Datta Khel in Pakistan’s tribal northwest. At least four people were reported to have been killed and two injured. Pakistani intelligence officials said the dead men were militants. But local villagers disagreed. They said the dead men were 'peaceful tribesmen'. They even named one of them: Saeedur Rahman, described as a local chromite dealer.

Five months later, in March 2012, journalists from the New York Times spoke with a 64-year-old farmer called Noor Magul. He said three of the men killed in the strike were relatives of his. He named them as Khastar Gul, Mamrud Khan and Noorzal Khan, and all three, he claimed, were not militants but worked in a local chromite mine.

This is just one of more than 370 drone strikes to hit Pakistan’s Afghan border region in the past nine years. More than 2,500 people have reportedly died in these strikes, including at least 400 civilians.

What makes Saeedur Rahman and his fellow passengers unusual is that they have been identified by name.

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