The United Nations has launched an investigation into the use of unmanned drone strikes and targeted killings in counter-terrorism operations.
The inquiry, announced Thursday in London, will investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.
It will also focus on civilian killings and injuries as a result of the strikes.
The investigation will be carried out by British lawyer Ben Emmerson, the U.N. special envoy on counter-terrorism and human rights.
Emmerson says the use of drone technology is "here to it stay," adding that it is imperative that "appropriate legal and operational structures are urgently put in place to regulate its use."
Most attacks by the unmanned drones have been carried out by the United States, although Israel has also used them and other nations have access to the technology.
Pakistan was one of three countries that requested the investigation. Pakistan has condemned U.S. drone strikes on targets along the country's border with Afghanistan, saying that it not only violates the country's sovereignty, but that collateral damage caused by the strikes is fueling militancy in the region.