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U.S. Drone Strike Kills New Zealander, Australian In Yemen

Al Jazeera: New Zealand and Australia were drawn into the global debate on drone strikes Wednesday after confirming that a citizen from each country had been killed in U.S. strikes in Yemen.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the men were killed along with three known Al-Qaeda operatives during a drone strike in November. The New Zealander had attended a rebel training camp and was under surveillance by intelligence agencies, Key said.

He added that drone strikes by the United States were justified in some circumstances.

"I think they are legitimate, at certain times, where countries are trying to contend with very dangerous situations and they are trying to deal with those terrorists without putting their own people in harm's way," he said.

Key said he thought the November strike was such a justified occasion: "I suspect so, yes, given that three of the people killed were well-known Al-Qaeda operatives."

U.S. drone strikes against suspected “terrorists” have been slammed by rights groups because they don't allow for a trial and can kill innocent bystanders. Al Jazeera reported in March that friends and family of U.S. drone-strike victims in Yemen launched a union with the help of the London-based legal charity Reprieve to represent affected communities.


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