Rescuers targeted in drone strikes

As the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported back in February, “the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.” Specifically: “at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims”.

This tactic of killing rescuers, which has a long historical precedent, was the subject of a  2007 report from the US department of homeland security, which christened the term  “double tap” to refer to “a favorite tactic of Hamas: a device is set off, and when police and other first responders arrive, a second, larger device is set off to inflict more casualties and spread panic.”

And yet, since the Bureau’s initial report, there have been other documented cases of the ‘double tap’: “On [4 June], US drones attacked rescuers in Waziristan in western Pakistan minutes after an initial strike, killing 16 people in total according to the BBC. On 28 May, drones were also reported to have returned to the attack in Khassokhel near Mir Ali.” Moreover, “between May 2009 and June 2011, at least 15 attacks on rescuers were reported by credible news media, including the New York Times, CNN, ABC News and Al Jazeera.”

More from Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian.

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