Yemen drone strikes kills farmer -witnesses

ADEN Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:58am EST

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ADEN (Reuters) - A Yemeni farmer was killed in a U.S. drone strike on Wednesday in what witnesses said was an attack apparently intended for suspected Islamist militants in southeastern Yemen.

Witnesses said the farmer was killed by shrapnel from two rockets fired by the drone early in the morning as he walked home in the village of al-Houta, near the city of Shibam.

A local government official confirmed the report but declined to give further details.

The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the network.

Yemen, AQAP's main stronghold, is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment on the practice.

Last month, at least 15 people were killed and five others injured when a drone mistook a wedding party travelling in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda for an al Qaeda convoy.

Stabilizing Yemen, which is also struggling with southern separatists and northern rebels, is an international priority amid fears of upheaval in a state that flanks top oil producer Saudi Arabia and major shipping lanes.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf, Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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Comments (3)
psunami wrote:
What better way to defeat the enemy than to kill farmers…right? Oh yea, maybe that might actually create more enemies than it can possibly kill…just a thought.

Jan 15, 2014 11:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
Kevin5069 wrote:
Every story like this create a thousand new ‘terrorists’. For civillians in Yemen, it must be hard to spot the ‘terrorists’ from the ‘good guys’.

Jan 15, 2014 11:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
shaw815 wrote:
Yeah of course he was a farmer. Sure. 2 x Hellfire missiles, at $58,000 dollars a piece. So nearly $120,000 to kill one innocent farmer. Right. Not to mention all the man hours of surveillance and operators that go in to any kind of strike using a UAV. Yep.

You know they don’t just turn up over a village and then waste the first person they see right? You do know the process of how a UAV strike is undertaken? Of course you do, or surely you wouldn’t be commenting. They have a soak period to carry out surveillance, and they will only carry this out on locations from which they track satellite phone signals of known insurgents. Then more surveillance. Then they might strike, if they can confirm a target.

Who said he was a farmer? Other people in his village? Village loyal to who? Lets just pretend this village was intimidated by, or loyal to AQAP. And one of the AQAP players from the village got killed by a drone strike. What do you think they would say?

“one of our mid level commanders was killed by a drone strike today!”

OR

“An innocent farmer was killed by a drone strike today!”

People need to stop believing everything they read on an internet page they can bring up in 5 seconds.

Jan 16, 2014 5:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
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