U.N. Expert Investigates US Drone Killings

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A U.N. expert is launching a special investigation into the drone warfare and targeted killings that the United States uses as front-line weapons in its global war against al-Qaida.

The civilian killings and injuries that result from drone strikes on suspected terrorist cells will be part of the focus of the investigation by British lawyer Ben Emmerson. He is the U.N. special expert on human rights and counter-terrorism, based in the Geneva office of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Emmerson's report will go to the U.N. General Assembly later this year.

His office says countries that use drones have "an international law obligation to establish effective independent and impartial investigations into any drone attack in which it is plausibly alleged that civilian casualties were sustained."


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