US drone programme 'strict, accountable, fair': John Kerry

Addis Ababa, May 27 (ANI): US Secretary of State John Kerry has defended America's use of drones to hunt down terrorists, saying drones are only used against confirmed targets and after much vetting.

Kerry, who was addressing a gathering of students at the University of Addis Ababa, insisted that the US has one of the strictest, most accountable and fairest programmes, where each target is carefully monitored and sometimes it takes a year to build the authority to know that they are correct, reports The Dawn.

The drone programme has been one of the most controversial aspects of the US fight against al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

Top leaders from both networks have been killed as a result of drone fire. Yet, the use of drones has been sharply criticised particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire has sparked a groundswell of anger.

Kerry said the US "preference" was to capture suspects wanted by US agencies, maintaining that Islamic militants did not use the same caution when they attacked American or Western targets.

He also maintained that America was not engaged in a war against Islam, and acknowledged that there had been mistakes by the US.

Kerry also defended the US move to try open talks with the Taliban leadership, saying it was better to try to bring people to the table to resolve issues rather than try to fight it out.(ANI)

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