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'Too easy': Ex-drone operator on watching civilians die

5 October 2012 Last updated at 12:07 BST

James Jeffrey served as an officer in the British Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2009, he helped guide drones flying over Helmand Province, where he had to make life and death decisions about whether to engage the enemy.

Speaking to Orla Guerin, the BBC's correspondent in Pakistan, he describes how he almost ordered a drone attack on a suspected militant thought to be planting an improvised explosive device.

At the last minute the strike was cancelled when he realised the potential enemy he could see on the monitor was in fact a child playing.

Mr Jeffrey also talked about witnessing - via a video link from a fighter jet - a missile strike on Taliban targets in built up areas that left several civilians dead.

Having now left the military and living in the US, Mr Jeffrey warns that while drones are a precise and effective weapon they have also made it "too easy to kill".

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