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U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding

- The Washington Times - Friday, December 13, 2013

Yemen authorities say a U.S. drone killed several civilians en route to a wedding after intelligence erroneously identified the convoy as a group of al Qaeda terrorists.

The drone killed 14 people and injured 22 more — nine of whom were left in critical condition, CNN reported. The vehicles, en route to a wedding, were near the town of Radda, authorities said in the report.

A Yemeni official said to CNN: "This was a tragic mistake and comes at a very critical time. None of the killed was a wanted suspect by the Yemeni government."

The United States didn't comment on the report. But the convoy included 11 vehicles, only four of which were targeted. Two of the vehicles were destroyed, CNN reported. Among those killed were two high-ranking tribal leaders in the province.

Radda residents were furious and demanded the government step in and end drone strikes in their district.

"More than 50 innocent civilians in our town have been killed by drones," said one eyewitness, CNN reported. "All those who were killed were supportive of the government's anti-terror campaign. That will surely not be the case of their tribes and families if the government does not strongly intervene."

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