Defence written question – answered on 26th June 2012.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many attacks made by unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have taken place in Afghanistan in the last three years; where each such UAV was made; and how many civilian casualties there were as a result of each attack.

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

In the last three years to 19 June 2012, 176 strikes have been carried out by UK Reaper unmanned air vehicles (UAV) in Afghanistan. Reaper is the only UK UAV which carries weapons. I cannot comment on UAVs or strikes by other nations. Reaper is acquired, supported and armed through the US government. The prime contractor to the US government for the construction of Reaper is General Atomics—Aeronautical Systems Inc., based in California. The UK takes every reasonable measure to avoid civilian casualties. I am aware of only one incident where individuals not classified as insurgents were killed by a UK Reaper UAV. The incident took place on 25 March 2011 and resulted in the death of four civilians in addition to two insurgents. An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) investigation was carried out and concluded that the actions of the Reaper crew had been in accordance with extant procedures and ISAF rules of engagement.

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