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'I saw people burning after drone attack'

When Abdullah Saleh Rabeh heard an explosion near Rada'a in Yemen, he went to help.

Arriving at the scene, he found the daily shuttle bus to Sabool on fire.

"I saw people trapped in the vehicle burning – I think they were already dead," he said. He described how a woman and her daughter wedged next to the driver had been killed.

"Some of the injured were crawling away from the scene," he said. "The injuries were severe – the clothes had fused to the survivors' skin and some bits of skin had burned off."

Rabeh had witnessed the aftermath of a US drone strike on September 2, 2012. He was interviewed in April this year by lawyers from the human rights group, Reprieve.

After the attack any planes flying overhead terrified his neighbours. "We all lived in a state of fear for months," he said. "Whenever my children see a plane they scream and run inside."

Ahmed Nasser Saleh, also from Rada'a, lost his father, mother and sister in a drone strike. "In the village, after the strike, there is a sense of deep sadness," he said. "So many of our loved ones were lost. You can feel it in the air here."

On August 28, 2012, the son of Faisal bin Ali bin Jaber, from Sana'a in Yemen, got married. The next day his nephew and brother-in-law were killed by a drone strike on the village of Khashamir.

"This was the most shocking thing for us: just one day before the strike, everyone was celebrating. We were dancing, and singing," he told Reprieve. "Salem's father was celebrating and dancing too. The next day, he lost his son."

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