4.11.06

Pakistan: End Excessive Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations

Pakistan: End Excessive Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations (Human Rights Watch, 1-11-2006):

The October 30 attack in the town of Khar killed 82 people, including several children, though a military spokesman claimed the dead were all militants and denied any “collateral damage.”

Pakistani authorities said that the seminary was being used as a training camp for Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, and that they issued a warning before striking. However, local residents said that only students were present in the seminary and that they received no warning. They also said the strike was carried out by fixed-wing US drones, which fired hellfire missiles as locals gathered to offer the dawn Fajr prayer.

“The Pakistani government should allow independent investigators into the area to determine who carried out the attack, how it was planned and executed, and who was killed,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch. “The onus is on the Pakistani government to provide a credible account of the legitimacy of the attack resulting in the deaths of so many.”

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