WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is defending drone strikes targeting al-Qaida operatives and others it deems enemies, rejecting reports by two human-rights groups questioning the legality of strikes they assert have killed or wounded scores of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan.
Human Rights Watch alleges that 82 people, at least 57 of them civilians, were killed by the unmanned aircraft and other aerial strikes in Yemen between September 2012 and June 2013.
Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. to investigate reports in Pakistan of civilian casualties, among them a 68-year-old grandmother hit while farming with her grandchildren.
President Barack Obama's chief spokesman, Jay Carney, says the U.S. "would strongly disagree" with any claims that the U.S. had acted improperly, arguing that American actions follow all applicable law.
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