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United Nations will launch an investigation into the targeted killings being carried out by US drone strikes in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Foreign Office confirmed on Thursday.

Foreign Office spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan said that the inquiry is part of a broader mandate given to UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson by the UN Human Rights Council to examine abuse of human rights while countering terrorism.

A report published in the Guardian on Thursday said that a UN Special Rapporteur will inquire into US strikes in Pakistan and in Sahel region of Africa and the military use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in UK operations in Afghanistan.

The report said that about 20 or 30 strikes – selected as representative of different types of attacks – will be studied to assess “the extent of any civilian casualties, the identity of militants targeted and the legality of strikes in countries where the UN has not formally recognised there is a conflict”.

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