Suspected Drone Crashes in Somali Capital

Posted August 19th, 2011 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Security officials in Somalia say a drone crashed in the capital, Mogadishu, on Friday, but they did not provide details about who was operating the unmanned aircraft.

Officials told VOA (Somali Service) the drone crashed into a house near the Libyan Embassy on Friday. The site is located in the city's southwestern Hodan district.

Authorities, who asked not to be identified, said African Union troops and an unidentified group of men took away the wreckage.

The United States is believed to operate drones in Somalia, where pro-government forces are battling members of the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab.

The U.S. has not publicly commented on reports that it uses drones to run reconnaissance missions in Somalia.

Al-Shabab recently withdrew from Mogadishu after a government offensive to push back militants and create a path for the flow of foreign aid to drought and famine victims. However, officials say some al-Shabab fighters are still in the city.

Al-Shabab has banned most foreign aid groups from operating in its strongholds.

The United Nations has declared five famine zones in Somalia; Most of those areas are under al-Shabab's control.

The Islamist militants are trying to overthrow Somalia's weak United Nations-backed government and impose strict Sharia law.