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US denies losing drone near Afghan border

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-10

US authorities have denied losing a drone after a suspected US unmanned spy plane was reported to have crashed in a troubled Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Taliban and al Qaeda militants are said to operate in the area.

A suspected US unmanned spy plane crashed Tuesday in a troubled Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan where Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants are active, officials said.
The drone came down near the frontier village of Angoor Adda in the tribal district of South Waziristan, the scene of several recent missile strikes by American drones, a senior Pakistani security official said.
"A pilotless spy plane, we believe it is US, crashed in Pakistani territory but it did not disintegrate. Tribesmen picked it up and then Pakistani security forces retrieved it," the official added.
"No firing was heard in the area so there is no question of it being shot down," he said.
There was no immediate comment from the US-led coalition in Afghanistan. The US Central Intelligence Agency is also known to operate pilotless aircraft in the restive border region.
The crash of the drone comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Islamabad over US military incursions into Pakistani territory to strike hardline Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.

Date created : 2008-09-23