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White House defends drone strikes after new report

Created: 10/22/2013 1:05 PM KSTP.com

(AP) WASHINGTON - The White House says it strongly disagrees with any assertions the U.S. violated international law by using drone strikes in Pakistan.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the U.S. is reviewing a new report from Amnesty International about civilians killed and wounded by CIA drone strikes. Amnesty says the U.S. should investigate.

Carney says American actions follow all applicable law. He says before drone strikes are used, there must be "near-certainty" no civilians will be killed. He says other counterterrorism methods would result in even more civilian casualties and empower those who seek violence.

Carney says there’s a wide gap between the U.S. assessment of civilian casualties and what some groups like Amnesty have determined.

He says, quote, "U.S. counterterrorism operations are precise, they are lawful and they are effective."

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