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HRW Says U.S. Drone Strikes Have Killed Many Civilians

A rights watchdog says that U.S. missile strikes, including armed drone attacks, have killed scores of civilians in Yemen amid a crackdown on suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

A report by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleges that six "unacknowledged" U.S. strikes on targets in Yemen killed 82 people, including 57 civilians.

HRW says one attack occurred in 2009; the other five happened in 2012 and 2013.

The report says that, in the worst single incident, in 2009, several U.S. Navy cruise missiles hit a remote Yemeni village, killing up to 41 civilians, including women and children, along with a disputed number of terrorism suspects.

The HRW report was released at the same time as an Amnesty International report on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.

Washington defends the use of drone strikes as a key weapon against militants.