Germany: won't file charges over German killed by drone in Pakistan, because he was combatant

German prosecutors say they won't file charges over the death of a German Islamic militant who was killed in a drone attack in Pakistan because they've decided he was a combatant in an armed conflict.

Federal prosecutors last year opened an investigation into whether the German's October 2010 death in a drone strike against extremists in the town of Mir Ali constituted a war crime under international law. The victim was identified only as Buenyamin E. in keeping with German privacy rules.

The U.S. program of drone strikes against militant extremists is deeply unpopular in Pakistan.

German prosecutors said Monday they dropped their investigation after determining that the German didn't count as a civilian covered by international humanitarian law because he was a member of an organized armed group.