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game of drones

Washington will 'donate' $1.2 million to the family of an Italian drone strike victim

The White House has agreed to pay 1 million euros — about $1.2 million — to the family of Giovanni Lo Porto, a 37-year-old Italian aid worker who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2015 while he was being held hostage by al Qaeda. Warren Weinstein, an American, was also killed in the attack.

The money is legally labeled a "donation," not compensation for Lo Porto's death, and a representative of the U.S. embassy in Rome declined to say whether a similar payment was made to Weinstein's family. "I will not see my son at home with his smile," Lo Porto's mother said after the payment was announced. "They took my precious son and they also killed me. Now all that remains for me is to wait until the last day of my life for divine, not earthly, justice."

Three months after the strike, in April of 2015, President Obama acknowledged and apologized for Lo Porto and Weinstein's deaths, taking "full responsibility" and promising an investigation. His remarks were unprecedented: No similar announcement had ever been made about the estimated hundreds if not thousands of civilians killed by U.S. drone strikes in the past, though some previous victims deemed innocent after the fact received secret condolence payments from Washington.