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Pakistani Family Recounts Drone Terror Before US Congress

  • VOA News

Nine-year-old Nabila Rehman holds a photo with a drawing she made depicting a drone strike that killed her grandmother, Oct. 29, 2013.

Nine-year-old Nabila Rehman holds a photo with a drawing she made depicting a drone strike that killed her grandmother, Oct. 29, 2013.

A Pakistani family appeared at a U.S. congressional briefing Tuesday and recounted events they say were triggered by a drone strike last year in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.

Rafiq Rehman, a teacher, said his mother was killed and his children were injured in that drone strike last October. He came to Washington with two of his injured children to tell Congress about the drone strikes.

In a VOA interview after the briefing, Rehman said drone strikes have caused great fear in his area.

"I want to tell America that women and children in our area are terrified because of the drone strikes, and they cannot acquire education because of the fear of these attacks," said Rehman.

The Rehmans' account was cited last week in an Amnesty International report that questioned U.S. claims that the drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas are carried out only against imminent threats, with minimal civilian casualties.

Tuesday's briefing was hosted by Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida.

"I think it is a matter of enormous public importance and goes directly to our own national security," said Grayson.

Rehman's son Zubair Rehman demanded an immediate end to the drone strikes.

"I want the drone strikes to end because they kill innocent people. American people should tell President Obama that these attacks kill innocent people and they should end," he said.

The Rehmans said they have no connection to any anti-U.S. extremists or al-Qaida militants.

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