The secrecy of the U.S. drone program often makes it difficult to follow what is happening. News reports cite unnamed intelligence or security officials, sometimes tribal sources, usually with different information.
For example, on Sunday a large number of people were killed by drone strikes in Pakistan's South Waziristan region. The story was reported by Al Jazeera , Reuters , DAWN , Associated Press , and CNN ; among others.
The strike involved “several missiles” (AP), “eight to 10 missiles” (Al Jazeera), or “four unmanned drones fired ten missiles” (DAWN). It was aimed at “a suspected Taliban compound” (Al Jazeera), “three Taliban compounds” (Reuters), “three militant hideouts” (AP), or “three houses” (DAWN). The casualties were “sixteen killed and several others wounded” (Al Jazeera), “seventeen dead, three wounded” (CNN), “between ten and twelve dead” (Reuters), “seventeen dead” (DAWN), or “nine dead” (AP). They were “believed to be militants” (CNN), “suspected to be Taliban fighters” (Reuters), or “fighters belonging to the Punjabi Taliban” (Al Jazeera),
So, how many people were killed? Who were they? You decide.