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C. Violations of the right to life during armed conflict contrary to international humanitarian law, or as a consequence of it
36. The Special Rapporteur is also particularly disturbed at reports received in the last year (but mostly in the context of post-11 September counter-terrorism measures) from several countries where aerial firing or bombardment has been used to kill civilians suspected of being terrorists, thereby also causing the loss of many other civilian lives. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur has expressed concern at the aerial bombing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on 22 March 2004 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which resulted in the deaths of seven other civilians. The Special Rapporteur reiterates that aerial bombing or targeted assassinations in areas populated by civilians resulting in deaths would constitute extrajudicial or summary executions. The Special Rapporteur is distressed by reports indicating that some Governments are pursuing a policy to mete out collective punishments by way of “eliminating” communities suspected of being close to alleged terrorists.