Naming the Dead: Bureau announces new drones project

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is launching a crowd-funded investigation “to identify as many as possible of those killed in US covert drone strikes in Pakistan, whether civilian or militant.”

At the end of January 2013, the Bureau was able to identify by name 213 people killed by drones in Pakistan who were reported to be middle- or senior-ranking militants.

A further 331 civilians have also now been named, 87 of them children.

But this is a small proportion of the minimum 2,629 people who appear to have so far died in CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. The Bureau’s work suggests 475 of them were likely to have been civilians.

‘At the moment we know the names of fewer than 20% of those killed in Pakistan’s tribal areas. At least 2,000 deaths still remain publicly anonymous,’ said Chris Woods, who leads the Bureau’s covert drone war team.

So far, the Bureau has received “substantial funding” from an unnamed UK foundation, and the US-based Freedom of the Press Foundation has pledged to back the Naming the Dead project. The focus of the project has been narrowed to Pakistan, but the the Bureau plans to extend the scope of the project to include Yemen and Somalia “in the near future”.

Readers can donate to this investigation here.

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