ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani government said Wednesday that three percent of the people killed in U.S. drone strikes in the country since 2008 were civilians, a surprisingly low figure given past official calculations and estimates from independent organizations.
The Ministry of Defense provided the data in a written response to questions from the Senate, saying 317 attacks have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians since 2008.
The strikes are very unpopular in Pakistan, where many people believe they violate the country's sovereignty and kill too many innocent civilians. The Pakistani government regularly criticizes the attacks in public, even though it is known to have secretly supported at least some of the strikes in the past.
It's unclear how the new casualty information will affect the drone debate in the country.