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Human rights group protests US drone killings

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-22 19:31:00-04

NEW YORK (AP) — A top human rights organization is criticizing the Obama administration's increasing use of drone aircraft for the targeted killing of terrorism suspects overseas and questioned whether it is legal.

Amnesty International says the U.S. drone policy is shrouded in secrecy but the killings appear to amount to extrajudicial executions that violate international rights laws. The London-based organization's assessment came in report released Wednesday on the global human rights situation.

Obama is expected to address his administration's reliance on drone strikes in a speech Thursday at the National Defense University. On the eve of the speech, Attorney-General Eric Holder acknowledged for the first time that four American citizens have been killed in drone strikes abroad since 2009.

Amnesty International also questioned the increasing reliance by U.S. police of Taser stun guns.