US Drone Crashes in Pakistan, Taliban Nab Debris

A suspected U.S. drone crashed in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border and Taliban fighters have gotten hold of the precious debris, Pakistani intelligence officials said Sunday.

The unmanned aircraft crashed Saturday night near Jangara village in the South Waziristan tribal area, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The village is located near the border with North Waziristan.

The officials said they learned of the crash by intercepting Taliban radio communications but don't know what caused it. Both North and South Waziristan are home to many Taliban fighters, though it is unclear whether they shot down the aircraft or if it crashed because of technical problems.

Pakistani soldiers clashed with militants near the crash area around the time the drone went down, but it is unclear if the two events were related, said the officials. Three militants were killed and two injured in the clash. Two soldiers were also injured, the officials said.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad did not immediately respond to request for comment on the reported crash. The U.S. normally does not acknowledge the covert CIA-run drone program in Pakistan.

But U.S. officials have said privately that the attacks have killed many high-level militants - most recently, al-Qaida's second in command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, and its chief of operations in Pakistan, Abu Hafs al-Shahri.

President Barack Obama has dramatically increased the number of drone attacks against militants in Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region since taking office in 2009 - partly in response to Pakistan's failure to target militants who stage attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials regularly denounce the drone attacks as violations of the country's sovereignty, but the government is widely believed to have supported the strikes in the past and even allowed the aircraft to take off from bases within Pakistan.

That support has come under strain in recent months, especially in the wake of the U.S. commando raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town on May 2. The Pakistanis were outraged that the U.S. didn't tell them about the operation beforehand.

Elsewhere in Pakistan's tribal region, militants attacked a security checkpoint killing a policeman and two members of an anti-Taliban militia, said Farooq Khan, a local government administrator.

The attack took place late Saturday night in the Aka Khel area of the Khyber tribal region, said Khan. The checkpoint is located on a key route that NATO uses to transport supplies to forces in neighboring Afghanistan. Security forces and local tribesmen fought back against the militants, killing 10 of them, said Khan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Pakistani Taliban have staged frequent attacks against security forces and tribesmen who have opposed them.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Wharf Rat Location: Manteo on Sep 18, 2011 at 05:47 PM
    You go, Oblunder! What a failure-in-chief.
  • by j Location: nc on Sep 18, 2011 at 04:32 PM
    Its a drone, its already old technolgy! just like the stealth was designed in 50's the enemy already has the plans and information on that equipment!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 18, 2011 at 04:11 PM
    In one of obamas campaign speeches he said he wanted to even the playing field.That is about the only thing he is accomplishing.They win!We lose!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 18, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    If you can't clearly see obama is a traitor than you are too!!!!!!!!
  • by Vinced Location: Washington on Sep 18, 2011 at 02:03 PM
    War is so easy when you are an "armchair general".....
  • by Goober Location: ENC on Sep 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM
    I don't understand why the US had to wait for officials of another country to tell them that a drone had crashed...shouldn't they have known instantly when the operator lost control ???...and another thing, why wasn't another drone sent to protect the debris untill friendlys could get there or destroy completely what was left....we know that drones carry rockets and bombs from past reports of their use in taking out al qaida and taliban leaders
  • by Anonymous on Sep 18, 2011 at 09:07 AM
    Now you know dang blame well that our fearless leader could have given orders to scramble some helicopters to recover this debris.
  • by An Idea... on Sep 18, 2011 at 09:04 AM
    We should have sent some planes in there to bomb the area once the Tally-Ban arrived to pick up the pieces.
  • by WhatAGreatPresident! on Sep 18, 2011 at 08:54 AM
    Great!Obama gives our stealth helicopter to china and now this.You go great destroyer.
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