A US drone destroyed a house in Mada Khel village of North Waziristan today, killing six people and wounding three others. None of the slain were identified, but all were labeled “suspects.”
If that story sounds awfully familiar, it’s because it is. Today’s attack marks the 500th confirmed US drone strike outside of actual warzones, with just about 10 years worth of strikes.
The strikes were extremely rare at first, a couple a year in Pakistan during the waning years of the Bush Administration. Now the attacks are increasingly common, not just in Pakistan but in Yemen as well.
The 500 attacks have killed some 3,674 people, and while only 473 are listed as confirmed civilians, the vast majority of the others slain have never been conclusively identified, remaining forever “suspects.”
The use of “suspects” as a catch-all for random slain tribesmen has become increasingly common in recent years, with the number of people ever named at all now merely a handful of the hundreds slain yearly.