In this May 28, 2011 photo provided by Margherita Romanelli and made available Thursday, April 23, 2015, Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, left, works in Multan, Pakistan. (Courtesy of Margherita Romanelli via AP/Andrea Parisi)
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The U.S. drone strike that accidentally killed two hostages in Pakistan exposes intelligence shortfalls that former and current U.S. officials say appear to be growing more frequent as militants expand their safe havens and as Washington gathers less on-the-ground human intelligence.Obtaining timely intelligence on hostages has always been difficult, especially in volatile regions where the United States has limited access and where militants have well-established operations.That has forced American intelligence operatives to become more dependent on electronic eavesdropping and spy satellites rather than using informants and on-the-ground human intelligence, the former and current U.S. officials say.The inadvertent killing of American doctor Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto in a January U.S. drone strike, acknowledged by President Barack Obama Thursday, follows two failed U.S. attempts in the past nine months to rescue Western hostages.
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