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News Link • Drones

When will drones stop killing innocent people in Yemen?

• Baraa Shiban, Reprieve coordinator, Special to CNN
(CNN) -- On December 12 a bride and groom traveled to their wedding in al-Baitha province, Yemen. It was supposed to be a day of celebration. Instead, in a few seconds, their happiness was obliterated. A U.S. drone fired at the wedding procession, destroying five vehicles and killing most of their occupants. Not even the bride's car, beautifully decorated with flowers, was spared from the carnage.

Senior Yemeni officials later admitted that the strike was a "mistake". Quite some mistake: although the bride survived, the strike killed 14 civilians and injured 22 more, according to officials -- the largest death toll by a drone attack in Yemen since the program began in 2002.

Since the killings, a wave of outrage has swept across the country. The Yemeni government rushed to meet community elders, seeking to negotiate a quiet settlement for the killing of the bride's loved ones. But the bereaved villagers rejected the overtures and instead demanded that President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi stop U.S. drone strikes before they would sit at any negotiating table.

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