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US drone crashes in North Waziristan

— File Photo

MIRAMSHAH: A US drone came down in Machikhel area of Mir Ali in North Waziristan Agency on Saturday night, official sources confirmed.

The pilot-less aircraft crashed after developing some technical fault, official sources said.

But local Taliban rejected the claim, saying they had downed the drone with gunshots at around 8:30pm when it was flying at low altitude.

They claimed that they had with them parts of the wreckage.

The area people said several drones were seen flying over different localities of the region till late into night.

It was the second drone that had been reportedly targeted by the Taliban in North Waziristan. The first one was downed last year and the shooter was given a double-cabin vehicle by the Taliban as prize.

Reuters adds: 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.

“The drone today in Machikhel was flying at low altitude and our fighters fired at and shot it down,” a local ‘commander’ of the Taliban said. “We have trained people for such type of job.”

A US 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.