BIJ : Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Civilian Casualties

According to the Bureau’s estimates, at least 417 civilians - and possibly as many as 957 - have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan. Reports of civilian casualties have declined steeply from their peak in 2009, and in 2013 for the first time there were no confirmed reports of civilian deaths.

Over half of the minimum reported civilian casualties have been in attacks on domestic buildings. The civilian casualty rate (the number of civilians killed in each strike on average) is 0.93. However this could be an underestimate because the Bureau has found the deaths of women are dramatically underreported.

However the deadliest strikes for civilians are in attacks on mosques and madrassas (religious schools). At least 12 civilians died in each attack on a mosque or madrassa hit by drones, on average.

By contrast, attacks on vehicles were far less likely to kill civilians, with a civilian casualty rate of 0.3.


    Bureau of Investigative Journalism Team:
    Alice K Ross; Jack Serle

    Forensic Architecture Team:
    Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator); Susan Schuppli (Senior Research Fellow, Project Coordinator); Jacob Burns (Research Assistant);

    SITU Research Team:
    Jeremy Chance; Akshay Mehra; Bradley Samuels and Xiaowei Wang

    Civilian Casualties