Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/8/2014 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

U.S. officials investigating if drone strike mistakenly struck wedding

The use of unmanned drones to batter suspected terrorist camps in countries such as Afghanistan and Yemen by the U.S. military has drawn heated criticism. These strikes have killed many unarmed civilians and innocent bystanders, many claim. Now, the U.S. government is investigating a claim that such a strike in Yemen, intending to attack al-Qaeda operatives in fact killed a dozen people at a wedding instead.

U.S. officials have acknowledged the claims and the incident is under investigation. It's one of the few times the U.S. government has confirmed an internal review of a drone strike.

U.S. officials have acknowledged the claims and the incident is under investigation. It's one of the few times the U.S. government has confirmed an internal review of a drone strike.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/8/2014 (3 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Yemen, drone strikes, al-Qaeda, investigation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The White House has launched an internal investigation into a December 12 drone strike in Yemen that targeted an al-Qaeda militant but wound up killing 12 people and injuring just as many.

Nasser Al-Sane, a local Yemeni journalist, took photographs and videos and then handed them to NBC News, which in turn showed the video to White House and Pentagon officials.

"You cannot imagine how angry people are (about the strike). They turned a wedding into a funeral," Al-Sane, who lives near the town of Radda, where the drone strike took place, says.

U.S. officials have acknowledged the claims and the incident is under investigation. It's one of the few times the U.S. government has confirmed an internal review of a drone strike. It's also the first time since President Barack Obama pledged to tighten rules for the strikes in a major speech last May.

"Given that there are claims of civilian casualties, we are reviewing it," one U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

White House National Security Staff spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said she could only respond "generally" on the incident. 

"Before we take any counter-terrorism strike outside areas of active hostilities, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured - the highest standard we can set," she said. "And when we believe that civilians may have been killed, we investigate thoroughly."

The intended targets, officials say, were "dangerous al-Qaeda militants," including Shawqui Ali Ahmed al Badani, a "mid-level" operative who is suspected of helping orchestrate a terrorist plot that led to the shutdown of U.S. embassies around the world in August.

A Yemeni official speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged reports that civilians in a wedding party were killed prompted the Yemeni government to authorize the local governor of the province to offer compensation. Which is the equivalent of about $110,000 in cash as well as 101 Kalashnikov rifles - to tribal leaders in the village.

"It is a total mess," the official said. "It is completely not clear who was killed. This is should be a wake-up call to everyone involved (in drone strikes) to find out what's going on."

"It is impossible to look at that footage and conclude anything other than some people were killed and terribly injured," Rosa Brooks, a former Defense Department policy adviser to the United Nations says. "But that just to me highlights the importance of having a really robust and transparent process . and right now, we don't seem to have one at all."

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Middle East

Palestinian Christians prevented from Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem since 1967 Watch

Image of Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Palestinian Christians feel the sting of segregation acutely during Holy Week. Strict, Israeli restrictions on movement prevents their access to holy sites in nearby Jerusalem. Many holy sites have remained out of reach in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since ... continue reading


BIGGEST IN THE WORLD: Saudi Arabia determined to build world's tallest building Watch

Image of High winds will also be a problem for this gargantuan building, so the tower will change shape regularly to counter it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not be outdone, Saudi Arabia is vowing to build the world's tallest building. Said structure, called the Kingdom Tower, heads into construction next week. AT its height, 3,280 feet, it will eventually dwarf Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,716 feet, the ... continue reading


AL-QAEDA ALIVE: 'We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!' Watch

Image of  In the video, the nefarious

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"This is quite an extraordinary video," terrorist experts Paul Cruickshank says. There's another word for it: absolutely horrifying. In the video, the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded ... continue reading


Suffering, dying in silence: Syrian Christians face arduous holy week Watch

Image of Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a seemingly endless Way of the Cross, with many suffering and dying in silence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The assassination of Dutch Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt, shot to death by an unknown assailant at his base in Homs, Syria on April 7 has cast a pall for the faithful here. Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a ... continue reading


Asia Bibi remains in prison, reluctant officials hide behind bureaucracy Watch

Image of Asia Bibi remains in prison, judges unwilling to take up her case for fear of violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy in Pakistan still sits in a women's prison her case held up by deliberate delays and a reluctance of judges and others to hear her case. Officials are afraid that they will become targets of Islamic ... continue reading


Dutch priest beaten, killed at his Syrian monastery Watch

Image of Father Frans van der Lugt was described as a man of great courage who

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dutch Jesuit priest, 75-year-old Frans van der Lugt was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery in Homs, Syria this week, the Vatican said. He had been living in Syria since the early Seventies. He's being described as man of great courage ... continue reading


Tunisian government strives to root out Islamist influence from Mosques Watch

Image of Tunisia's newly elected government, recognizing that one of the nation's chief sources of revenue is tourism, has wasted little time in quelling extremist factions there.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Tunisian authorities, along with the Islamist party Ennahda had clashed on several levels for any months. The conflict was felt on all strata of Tunisian society. Violence roiled in the streets, to the universities, in places of worship and private homes. ... continue reading


Syrian refugees in Lebanon passes one million mark Watch

Image of U.N. staff in Lebanon register 2,500 new Syrian refugees every day, the UNHCR said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Syria's devastating Civil War drags into its fourth year without an end in sight, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has officially passed the one million mark, the United Nations' refugee agency says. Syrian refugees now make up almost a quarter of ... continue reading


Meet Catholic Online's new Middle East correspondent Watch

Image of Kaci Racelma received his Bachelor of English literature in 1996. He has worked in the daily Algerian newspaper la Nouvelle République since 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Journalist Kaci Racelma has joined the Catholic Online family as a much needed and vaunted Middle East correspondent to our international news desk. We welcome his wealth of experience in relaying breaking stories in this complex part of the world.  LOS ... continue reading


Authorities break up kiddie sex abuse ring, 17-year-old pimp and several men arrested Watch

Image of Several hundred women in Israel - many of them foreigners - are trafficked within the country annually for commercial sexual exploitation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tel Aviv Police have arrested seven men in connection with a child molestation ring. An undercover investigation began after one of the purported victims came forward and told them about a number of girls who had sex with a group of adults in exchange for ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter