A project tracking drone
deaths in Pakistan

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Akram Shah

THIR KHAN/AFP/Getty Images









Place of origin

Village of Spulga, 15 km outside of Miranshah

Reported status

Reported civilian

Civilian occupation

Driver for local water and power development authority, and for Member of the National Assembly Nek Zaman

Case study

Akram Shah was one of at least five men – all reportedly civilians – killed in a drone strike on a car.

Researchers for Stanford Law School/New York University School of Law’s Living Under Drones report later interviewed locals and gathered details about his life.

Shah was a married father of three in his mid-30s. He worked as a driver, formerly as a taxi driver and latterly as a driver for the Pakistan Water and Electricity Development Authority. He belonged to either the Tori Khel or Bora Khel tribes.

Shah lived in Spalga, a village 15km outside Miranshah, ‘in a large extended-family compound headed by [a] cousin, a prominent malik [tribal elder]’, the report added.

On the evening of June 15 2011, Shah and his friends were driving a couple of kilometres outside the village of Sirkot when a drone attacked, firing multiple missiles A local later described the remains of the car after the attack as resembling ‘a sandwich bent in half’.

Following the strike, furious tribesmen blocked the road to Miranshah to protest at the civilian deaths. Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that more than 2,000 tribesmen joined the protest. Funeral prayers were held in the village of Qutab Khel.

The Living Under Drones study reported that Shah’s wife ‘became mentally unwell after his death, and now suffers from hypertension and headaches’. A relative now supports the family.

Photo: Thir Khan AFP/Getty Images

Sources and Citations

Ibrahim Shah, Manan Khan, Abdul Qayyum Khan, Muzzafar Khan witness testimony for Human Rights Council submission (Reprieve); Living Under Drones field investigation (NYU/Stanford); local residents (Dawn)


Died 15/06/2011

Details of the strike

About the project

CIA drone strikes have killed over 2,500 people in Pakistan; many are described as militants, but some are civilians. This is a record of those who have died in these attacks.

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Covert drone war

A project by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism tracking drone strikes and other covert US actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

The Bureau is a not-for-profit research organisation based in London. It pursues in-depth journalism that is of public benefit.

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