Obama 2010 Pakistan strikes

President Obama meets with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gilani in 2010 (Photo: US State Dept)

The events detailed here occurred in 2010. These have been reported by US or Pakistani government, military and intelligence officials, and by credible media, academic and other sources, including on occasion Bureau researchers. Below is a summary of CIA drone strikes and casualty estimates for 2010. Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. Below represents our present best estimate.

You can access a complete spreadsheet of all strike and casualty data for Pakistan here.

CIA strikes – Obama 2010
Total CIA drone strikes 128
Total reported killed: 755-1,108
Civilians reported killed: 89-197
Children reported killed: 23
Total reported injured: 351-428


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Click here for our 2009 Pakistan data set.

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Who is dying in Pakistan drone strikes? See the Naming the Dead project.

January 2010 – March 2010

Ob53 – January 1 2010
♦ 2-3 total killed
♦ 3-4 injured
Two or three alleged militants were killed and up to four were injured in a drone strike that several sources said took place in the morning, although one report put it at 7.45pm. The car was parked outside a residential compound when it was struck, Dawn reported. ‘We saw a vehicle engulfed in flames after the missile strike,’ a tribesman told AFP. ‘It was difficult to go close to the vehicle as it was surrounded by militants, who later removed dead bodies from the wreckage.’ Drones continued to fly over the area, the Daily Times reported. The attack marked one of multiple strikes as the CIA lashed out in the wake of the Khost suicide bombing. An Obama administration security official reportedly said:

In the aftermath of Khost, political sensitivities were no longer a reason not to do something. The shackles were unleashed.  (The Triple Agent)

The coming year saw a drastic increase in strikes. ‘The CIA went to war,’ a former administration official, who added: ‘The White House stood back.’

Location: Murbarak Shahi, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TV, CNN, AFP, Dawn, Reuters, SATP, Al Jazeera English, Daily Times, Pajhwok, Bureau

Ob54 – January 3 2010
♦ 5 total killed
♦ 1-2 civilians, including 1-2 children, reported killed
♦ 2 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the172 following reports: Unnamed security official says identity of two of the dead is unclear (AFP), unnamed locals refer to the dead as ‘people’ and name two (Dawn), two Pakistani officials report two civilian deaths (CNN), two children (Bureau)

Two missiles fired at the a compound owned by Jehan Roze destroyed a guesthouse and a car parked outside, and killed five including up to three ‘Arabs’. Roze’s son Sadiq Noor, who is described by some as a local teacher but by others as a collaborator with militants, was killed in the strike, along with Noor’s 9-year-old son Wajid. Initially Pakistani intelligence officials suggested that ‘an important figure‘ may have been hiding in the house. ‘A total of five militants have been killed, two are local and three are foreigners. One among the foreigners is an Arab,’ a security official told AFP. A Sadiq Noor had been identified three years previously as a senior militant, with an intelligence report claiming that he:

Runs operations from Miranshah and hosts Taliban and Al Qaeda meetings from his offices. Holds court under Sharia law, decides local disputes, announces punishments, collects money runs a private jail.

Location: Mosaki, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TV, AFP, Dawn, Dawn, SATP, CNN, Reuters, Pajhwok, Long War Journal, Long War Journal, Bureau

Ob55 – January 6 2010
♦ 5-7 total killed
♦ 0-6 civilians reported killed
♦ 5 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Local officials highlight uncertainty over the status of the dead (Pajhwok), reporter indicates uncertainty over the status of the dead (Al Jazeera).

An attack on a ‘fort-like‘ compound reportedly killed up to seven, possibly including two ‘foreigners’. Five were reported injured. Officials said the compound was frequented by militants, with some sources claiming it was a militant training camp. ‘It was a huge, fort-like mud-house. They were using it as a training centre and the training centre belonged to Hafiz Gul Bahadur,’ a Pakistani intelligence source told Dawn. CNN reports the attack took place at 3.50pm, while Dawn put it at 3.30pm. A local official was ‘unclear whether the dead were militants or civilians’ (Pajhwok). See Ob56.

Location: Sanzali, Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: Pajhwok, Dawn, CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera English, militaryphotos.net, SATP, Long War Journal, Geo TV, Geo TV, Bureau

Ob56 – January 6 2010
♦ 5-9 total killed
♦ 5 civilians reported killed
♦ 3 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Field researchers provide names and further identification (Bureau).

Shortly after Ob55, as rescuers worked to pull bodies from the rubble, drones struck again. ‘Just when people gathered at the scene to retrieve the bodies and pull out the wounded, another missile struck an hour later,’ a resident told the New York Times. Up to nine rescuers, described as either villagers or militants by CNN and others, were attacked as they searched the rubble of the fort. See Ob55.

As part of its investigation into reports of deliberate targeting of rescuers by drones, the Bureau’s researchers identified five civilian rescuers they named as Khalid, Matiullah, Kashif, Zaman and Waqar, all belonging to the Utmanzai Wazir tribe.

Location: Sanzali, Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: Xinhua, militaryphotos.net, Al Jazeera English, Pajhwok, Dawn, SATP, CNN, Jang (Urdu), Bureau investigation (rescuers). Bureau data (rescuers)

Ayeesha / Noor Behram

Ob57 – January 8 2010
♦ 5-6 total killed
♦ 5 civilians reported killed, including 1 child
♦ 3 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Law suit (Reprieve), reporter identifies the dead as ‘people’ rather than ‘militants’ (Dawn, Geo TV).

A vehicle was destroyed killing four men standing next to it – alleged in some reports to be militants of Hafiz Gul Bahadur’s faction. Three people were injured. CNN put the attack as happening at 7.45pm; locals told the broadcaster that two of the dead were foreign while three were local. However, lawyer Shahzad Akbar reports that the men were civilians, and has named them as government high school teacher Akbar Zaman, Mir Qalam, Saad Wali Khan and Muhammad Fayyaz. In the next door house, 3-year-old Ayeesha (right) was also reported killed by missile shrapnel. In a detailed account of the attack placed before the UN Human Rights Council in February 2012, it was stated:

Janatullah is a resident of Bora Khel, Miranshah, North Waziristan, Pakistan. His brother is Mir Qalam, 19 years of age. Akhtar Zaman is a resident of Tapi Ghundi Kala. His brother is Akbar Zaman, a high school teacher in Government High School Supghala. Neither Mir Qalam, Akbar Zaman, nor any other members of their families have participated in terrorist activities, nor have they been affiliated with terrorist organizations or people.

On Friday, January 8, 2010, Mir Qalam was driving to the nearby village of Tappi on a dinner invitation. He stopped outside a shop in market in Tappi, to talk to some acquaintances, namely: Akbar Zaman; Saad Wali Khan, a local tribesman; and Muhammad Fayyaz, another local tribesman. At that moment, a drone fired a missile near where they were standing, killing all four of them. Mir Qalam left behind a widow and a baby daughter. Akbar Zaman left behind three daughters and four sons, the eldest of which is 9 years old.

An internal Pakistani government document published by the Bureau in January 2014 said six people were killed in this attack. It recorded two of the dead as ‘local’ and four as ‘non-local’.

Location: Tabbi, North Waziristan
References: AFP, CNN, Dawn, Dawn, Geo TV, Long War Journal, SATP, Reprieve, Bureau

Ob58 – January 9 2010
♦ 4-5 total killed
♦ 5 injured

Photo: US government
Photo: US government

Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim (right) was reportedly killed with up to four others, including al Qaeda bodyguard in a strike on buildings belonging to Rasta Barkhan, described as ‘a tribesman closely linked to the Taliban by the Long War Journal. Abdul Rahim was a suspect in a Karachi plane hijacking a quarter of a century earlier in which 20 passengers died including two US citizens.

The FBI’s website says that Mr Rahim has a $5m bounty on his head and is wanted for his alleged role in the 1986 hijacking of Pan American World Airways flight [173]. (BBC News).

However Rahim’s name remained on the US government’s wanted list – Rewards for Justice – in 2015. Other names of men killed in drone strikes had remained on the list after their reported deaths before being quietly expunged at a later date. That Rahim remained there five years after his death raises questions over his reported demise. Among the others killed in the strike was Mansur al Shami aka Mahmoud Mahdi Zeiden, reportedly the bodyguard for al Qaeda ‘No. 3’ Sheikh Mustafa Abu al Yazid. His brother confirmed his death to AP. After the strike, security officials told AFP: ‘A US drone fired two missiles, which hit a compound used by militants as a training centre’.

A wanted notice for several men, including Abdul Rahim, suspected of the September 5 1973 highjacking of PanAm Flight 73, and other related crimes. This notice was broadcast by the US government on Voice of America.

Location: Ismail Khel, North Waziristan.
References: Dawn, CNN, Geo TV, BBC News, Long War Journal, SATP, Asian Tribune, Long War Journal, The News, The News, Associated PressThe News, SATP, Voice of America, Bureau

Drone strike on a gathering of a large number of alleged Taliban in Afghanistan (Live Leak).

Ob59 – January 14 2010
♦ 15-18 total killed
♦ 7-14 injured
Pakistan Taliban (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud and al Qaeda bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman (who has been linked to the December 2009 attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan) were reportedly killed with up to 16 other alleged militants including ‘two Arabs and several Uzbek fighters’. The strike was reportedly on the house of Muhammad Yaqoob, although Press TV claimed the site was ‘a converted religious school’. Both Mehsud and Usman (below) later emerged alive. TTP spokesman Azam Tariq told AFP:

Hakimullah Mehsud was present at the same place in Shaktoi where the drone attack took place… But he had left the area already when the drone attack took place. He is alive and completely safe.’

Abdul Basit Usman, a Filipino citizen and bomb-making expert.
Rewards for Justice

Some sources suggested he left the house ‘minutes before the assault’ while BBC Urdu reported he needed treatment for a head wound. Rumours he had been killed persisted for months after the event. Mehsud, who took over the TTP after his cousin Baitullah Mehsud was killed in August 2009 (Ob29), later appeared in a grisly video released in spring 2011, in which a former ISI commander was executed.

Location: Shaktoi, North-South Waziristan border
References: Express Tribune, AFP, New York Times, Al Jazeera English, Geo TV, SATP, Long War Journal, Press TV, Pajhwok, Dawn, Long War Journal, Geo TV, The News, The News, The News, Long War Journal

Ob60 – January 15 2010
♦ 5-10 total killed
♦ 3 injured
The reputed house of Munawar Jan was destroyed in a strike. According to initial media reporting five alleged militants were killed including a ‘foreigner’ were killed, although Long War Journal reported the dead included two ‘Taliban’ and three ‘foreign fighters’. Xinhua reported ‘at least five’ had been killed and the number was likely to rise. Three people were reportedly injured. A senior Pakistani official reported that a swarm of five drones were involved in the attack, flying at low altitude before two ‘descended further and fired four missiles at the compound, destroying it completely,’ reported SATP.

In January 2014 the Bureau published a secret Pakistani record of drone strikes and casualties. The document listed 10 people killed in this strike. It said four ‘locals’ and six ‘non-locals’ were killed in an attack on two cars near a house.

Location: Shaktoi, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TV, BBC News, Dawn, thefreelibrary.com, SATP, Long War Journal, Xinhua, The Nation, Bureau

Predator drone/Flickr/The Insider Brief

Ob61 – January 15 2010
♦ 6-10 total killed
Six people were reported killed in a shortly after Ob60. GeoTV said the drones attacked ‘an hour after’ the previous strike, while Dawn reported the strike was ‘a late-night attack’. The target was reported to be either a house or a ‘religious seminary and adjacent house’. TTP commander Azmatullah Mawiya was said to be among the dead. However that report was apparently premature – he was alive as of an August 2013 report saying he had been expelled from the TTP. Asia Pulse reported the strike seriously wounded seven and killed 10 including ‘top militant commanders’ Khawaja Muhammad Mehsud and Qari Hussain, a TTP leader credited with organising bombing squads. However Qari Hussain appears to have survived several further attacks (including Ob21Ob137, Ob142 and Ob147) and was added to the US list of designated terrorists in January 2011.

Location: Shaktoi, North Waziristan.
References: Dawn, zeenews.india.com, SATP, Long War Journal, Geo TV, BBC News, Dawn, Asia Pulse, IANS, Long War Journal, The Nation, Bureau, Dawn

Ob62 – January 17 2010
♦ 14-20 total killed
♦ 4 injured
An attack on a Pakistan Taliban commanders’ meeting failed to kill Hakimullah Mehsud. The house targeted was variously described as belonging to at the home of Pir Gul, or a member of the Mehsud clan, a ‘well-known Taliban supporter‘ or Usman Jan, new leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. ‘The drones are apparently tracking and targeting Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, whose presence is frequently reported in the area,’ an unnamed official told Al Jazeera. The strike took place before sunrise, according to Dawn.

Contemporaneous media reports said more than 20 people died, including ‘four Uzbeks’ and ‘top Taliban commanders’ Shahidullah, Hafiz Nizamuddin Storikhel, Khwarey and Mohtaj. Most of those who died were foreign fighters, an official told Reuters – although Associated Press reported the dead comprised five Uzbeks and 15 Pakistani Taliban. Some early reports falsely claimed that Hakimullah Mehsud died of injuries sustained in this strike.

In January 2014 the Bureau published a secret Pakistani record of CIA drone strikes and casualties. It listed only 14 people were killed in this attack, all of them described as local to the tribal area.

Location: Shaktoi, North Waziristan.
References: BBC News, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, zeenews.india.com, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Geo TV, Dawn, Dawn, zeenews.com, SATP, Long War Journal, Associated Press, AFP, Dawn, AFP, Xinhua, The News, Awaz Today, Bureau

Ob63 – January 19 2010
♦ 5-9 total killed
♦ 4 injured
At around 6.30pm, missiles hit a house and a vehicle parked outside it. The death toll was initially put at three, but later rose six; four were reportedly injured. All the dead were alleged to be militants. ‘Five militants were killed in the strike. One missile hit the compound and the other hit a nearby vehicle. Three people sitting in the car were killed and two others were killed in the compound,’ a security official told AFP. Four years after this strike, the Bureau published a list of drone strikes and casualties compiled by Pakistani officials. It records nine ‘locals’ killed in this attack.

Location: Deegan, North Waziristan.
Dawn, CNN, AFP, Reuters, SATP, SATP, New York Times, Geo TV, Xinhua, Bureau

Ob64 – January 29 2010
♦ 2-15 total killed
♦ 4 injured
Between two and fifteen people were killed in an attack on a house or compound. The dead reportedly included four Arabs, two Uzbeks and local militants linked to the Haqqani Network, it is alleged. However an official Pakistani record of drone strikes listed only two ‘foreign nationals’ killed in the attack. The Bureau published the secret document in January 2014.

Location: Muhammad Khel, North Waziristan.
AFP, BBC, New York Times, Geo TV, Reuters, Long War Journal, SATP, Al Jazeera English, Bureau

Cluster of strikes

On December 30 2009 a joint al Qaeda-Pakistan Taliban operation struck at the heart of the CIA’s drone activities. A triple agent penetrated a secret drone base in Khost, Afghanistan. Seven CIA agents, including the base commander, were among the dead.  The Agency responded in the coming weeks with multiple strikes across Waziristan – at the time, the heaviest wave of bombings ever seen. On this one day alone there were four attacks. Bureau analysis shows that at least 35 people died – including six possible civilians.

Ob65 – February 2 2010
♦ 23-24 total killed
As many as eight drones clustered for a mass strike to kill Haqqani Network leader Sirajudin Haqqani – firing 19 missiles between them. A house was attacked and up to 23 killed in this first of four linked strikes. The intended target was absent.

A commander of the group who spoke on the condition of anonymity told CNN that Haqqani “is alive and was not in the area at the time of the attack.”

In January 2014 the Bureau published a secret Pakistani document, a list of drone strikes and casualties. It recorded 24 people killed in this strike and the subsequent attack (Ob66). However the document conflates the two strikes in one entry, saying 24 locals ‘at two different places in village Mohammad Khel and Degan of Tehsil Datta Khel’.

Location: Deegan, Datta Khel area, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TV, Al Jazeera English, Daily Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNN, BBC News, Dawn, AFP, Reuters, SATP, ABC, Long War Journal, Times of India, Al Jazeera English, Long War Journal, Bureau

Ob66 – February 2 2010
♦ Total killed unknown
A linked strike reportedly attacked locals firing on a nearby swarm of drones. Casualties unknown though a secret Pakistani report, published by the Bureau in January 2014, listed 24 people were killed in Ob65 and Ob66 – see above.

Location: Muhammad Khel, North Waziristan.
References: New York Times, Times of India, Bureau

Ob67 – February 2 2010
♦ 9 total killed
♦ 5 civilians reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed villagers indicate uncertainty over identity of the dead (Wall Street Journal), field researchers (Bureau).

Nine people were killed while travelling in two vehicles to help with rescue work at the sites of previous attacks. Initial claims were confused about whether those who died were militants or civilians. According to the New York Times:

A third drone strike, in the area of Khar Qamar, then hit two vehicles on their way to the scene of the previous attacks, a security official and residents said. At least six militants were killed, they said.

However, the Wall Street Journal raised doubts about those killed, noting: ‘Two people who live in the village said vehicles were also destroyed, although they differed on whether the cars belonged to the militants or area residents.’

As part of its investigation into the targeting of rescuers by the CIA, the Bureau’s researchers in Waziristan named five civilians they said had been killed as Noor Janan, Farhad, Samad, Salam and Baseer belonging to the Dawar tribe.’ Researchers also said that four Taliban died in the attack.

Location: Pai Khel, North Waziristan.
References: New York Times, Times of India, Jang (Urdu), Wall Street Journal, CNNDawn, ReutersAFPSATPABCLong War JournalTimes of IndiaAl Jazeera EnglishLong War Journal, Bureau investigation (rescuers). Bureau data (rescuers)

Ob68 – February 2 2010
♦ Total killed unknown
In the last of four linked strikes, a village was reportedly hit with casualties unknown.

Location: Toor Narai, North Waziristan.
References: Times of India, CNN

Ob69 – February 14 2010
♦ 5-7 total killed
♦ 4 injured
The house of Khanadan Khan Dawar was attacked. Seven alleged militants, reportedly four ‘foreigners, possibly Uzbeks’ and three locals, were reported killed at the time of the strike. However in January 2014 the Bureau published a secret Pakistani record of CIA drone strikes and casualties. It said: ‘Reportedly the killed militants were Uzbeks.’

Location: Norak, North Waziristan.
References: New York Times, CNN, AFP, Reuters, Geo TV, Al Jazeera English, Dawn, Long War Journal, SATP, CNN, Xinhua, Bureau

Ob70 – February 15 2010
♦ 4-5 total killed
♦ 5 people reported injured
Up to five people were killed in a car destroyed by a missile strike. The dead reportedly included Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, leader of militant group the East Turkestan Islamic Group (ETIM). It transpired in June 2015 that Abdul Haq may not have been killed in this strike. An ETIM-linked propaganda outlet reportedly produced a video of Abdul Haq in 2014. The propaganda channel said he had been injured and incapacitated in this strike but had resumed his duties as leader in 2014.

ETIM had reportedly formed an alliance with al Qaeda. Among the group’s stated goals are independence for a Muslim region of China; and ‘to convert the people of China to Islam’.

Location: Ghundikala, North Waziristan.
References: Dawn, Dawn, Geo TV, SATP, Xinhua, Reuters, military-world.net, Long War Journal, Long War Journal, Times of India, CBS News, Daily TimesThe News, Bureau, Long War Journal

Ob71 – February 17 2010
♦ 4 total killed
♦ 1-3 injured
Four people were killed and two injured at a Taliban guest-house reportedly owned by Sakhi Badshah. Al Qaeda’s Shaikh Mansoor, reportedly a key figure in anti-NATO actions inside Afghanistan, was said to be among the dead.

Location: Tapi Tool, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TV, Sakaal Times, Reuters, AFP, CNN, Dawn, Geo TV, Dawn, The Statesmen, Long War Journal, Long War Journal, SATP, Asian Tribune, The NewsThe News, Bureau

‘Pakistan Taliban 2008’ – Flickr/gnabi86

Ob72 – February 18 2010
♦ 3-5 total killed
♦ 4 injured
Mohammed Haqqan (aka Mohammed Hashim) a brother of the leader of the Haqqani Network, was killed with 2-4 others, reportedly as he traveled to offer prayers for Shaikh Mansoor, killed the previous day (Dawn). Also reported killed by one source were ‘head of a little-known militant outfit’ Nisar Wazir; Muhajireen Wal Ansar; and two ‘Arabs’.

It subsequently emerged that Mohammed Haqqan was not the intended target of the strike. The US was trying to kill one of his older brothers – a US intelligence official later boasted:

We were gunning for Siraj but got his little brother instead.

A US intelligence report leaked to McClatchy three years after the strike revealed that Siraj’s brother and the Network’s second-in-command Baddrudin was the actual target:

Watching the video feed from a drone high above the mourners, CIA operators in the United States identified a man they believed could be Badruddin Haqqani from the deference and numerous greetings he received. The man also supervised a private family viewing of the body.

Baddrudin was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan in August 2012 (Ob287).

Location: Danda Darpakhel, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TV, AFP, Dawn, Dawn, Daily Times, Reuters, Dawn, Dawn, Wall Street Journal, AFP, Long War Journal, Long War Journal, CNN, New York Times, SATP, Xinhua, McClatchy, Bureau

Ob73 – February 24 2010
♦ 5-13 total killed
♦ 5-6 civilians, including 1 child, reported killed
♦ 6 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed local (Xinhua), named resident (Pajhwok), unnamed witness (Noor Behram).

Up to thirteen people were killed, including reportedly civilians and ‘three foreign fighters.’ Xinhua reported that at least five people died, citing a local source: ‘All killed and injured people are local tribesmen, not militants, he said, adding “the house caught fire shortly after the missiles landed at the house.”‘ Pajhwok also reported that a ‘civilian house’ may have been destroyed, killing as many as six inside, though others reported that only alleged militants had died when vehicles were destroyed. A 10-year-old girl, Naila, was also reportedly killed by shrapnel, according to local photographer Noor Behram:

Naila was at home reciting the Quran when the strike hit the next-door building. A missile piece hit her and she died on the spot.’ A further six people were injured in the attack.

The following week it was reported that TTP leader Qari  Mohammad Zafar had died in the strike. An unnamed US official told the Long War Journal: ‘We’ve received some information that may verify the reports but we cannot be certain,’ an official said. ‘It is possible but we cannot confirm. We’d like to check him off our list as he is dangerous.’ The TTP announced Zafar’s death in March 2010, declaring: ‘The mujahideen will soon take revenge against the Pakistani government for his killing anywhere in the country.’ His named remained on the US wanted list Rewards for Justice with a $5m reward for information about his whereabouts. This was removed at some point between April 20 2012 and May 16 2012. However it was also claimed that this was a propaganda ruse by the Taliban. An investigator told the Daily Times six months after the attack: ‘So important is Qari Zafar to the TTP that they faked his death so he could work in peace.’

Location: Darga Mandi, North Waziristan.
References: Hindustan Times, Dawn, BBC News, Geo TV, CNN, New York Times, Reuters, AP, Xinhua, The Hindu (Associated Press), Daily Times, AFP, Long War Journal, Pajhwok, SATP, Bureau, Long War Journal, Long War Journal, US Government (Web Archive)

Ob74 – March 8 2010
♦ 9 total killed
♦ 2-6 injured
An attack on a hotel in a bazaar killed Hussein al-Yemeni (aka Saddam Hussein al Hussami, Ghazwan al Yemeni), linked to the December 2009 attack on a CIA base. Also killed were eight other alleged al Qaeda members. A martyrdom stat