Pakistan Says Small Percentage of Drone Strike Victims Civilians

The figure is lower than past statements from the government and from independent organizations

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The Pakistani government said Wednesday that civilians accounted for 3 percent of people killed by U.S. drone strikes since 2008, a surprisingly low figure relative to past statements from the government and from human rights organizations.

The Ministry of Defense, in a report presented to the national Senate, said 317 U.S. drone strikes killed 2,227 people since 2008, including 2,160 militants and 67 civilians, the Associated Press reports.

The latest figures quickly drew questions from activists, given that some groups have cited as many as 300 civilian deaths since 2008.

In a visit to the White House last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on President Barack Obama to end the drone attacks, highly unpopular in Pakistan — a day after the Washington Post published secret documents detailing the Pakistani government’s history of quietly supporting the drone campaign.