Breaking: U.S. drone shot down in Pakistan

Breaking: U.S. drone shot down in Pakistan

Karāchi : Pakistan | Feb 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM PST
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UPDATE: 2-25-12 2:00 PM (PST)

U.S. Officials deny drone shot down.

It is impossible to verify the militants' account and a U.S. official in Washington denied the Taliban had shot down the drone and declined further comment. The CIA, which runs the drone campaign, also declined to comment, reported by Reuters.

Taliban has stated they will show pictures on Sunday of the wreckage they collected.

UPDATE: 2-25-12 12:00pm

France 24 is reporting that the unmanned aircraft came down in the mountainous Machikhel area about 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region, which is frequently targeted by drone strikes against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, military and security officials said.

"A US drone crashed, apparently due to some technical fault," a military official in the northwestern city of Peshawar told AFP.

Security officials in the region confirmed the crash saying it fell in the mountains.

The crash site has been surrounded by militants, one security official said, refusing to confirm claims by some Taliban that the drone was shot down by insurgents.

Still there is no official statement from the U.S. State Department.


Taliban militants said they shot down a U.S. drone, according to Pakistan intelligence official reports.

Taliban militants led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur said they had collected wreckage of the destroyed drone and would provide its pictures to the media on Sunday, reported by Reuters.

Pakistani security officials, however, said they did not know what caused the drone to crash.

"A drone aircraft was seen going down in Machikhel and flames were seen," a Pakistani intelligence official said.

"We don't know what caused it to go down. We are investigating."

Another official said the drone had gone down in an area controlled by militants, about 30 km (20 miles) from the Afghan border.

The U.S. and Pakistani views differ in their perceptions of drone activity over Pakistan. Pakistan claims the U.S. is in violation of their sovereignty and is the cause of civilian deaths. The U.S., however, states the strikes are accurate and the number of civilian deaths is minimal.

Despite reports that Pakistani politicians frequently criticize the strikes in public, in private Pakistani leaders have long supported and even encouraged the strikes, provided they stay away from certain areas and targets.

Spotter networks run by Pakistan's spy agency, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, continued to provide targeting information to the Americans.

Pakistan has signaled it is ready to resume its relationship with the United States, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, after talks between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in London.

The U.S. state department has not confirmed a drone was shot down.

When confirmation is made by the state department, this report will be updated.

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Reports by Taliban militants that they shot down a U.S. drone on Saturday.
Dava Castillo is based in Clearlake, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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