Alleged US Drone Crashes in Somalia

Posted September 26th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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An alleged U.S. spy drone has crashed in the Somali city of Kismayo, which is controlled by the militant group al-Shabab.

Witnesses in Kismayo told VOA that the unmanned drone crashed Sunday near the airport of the southern Somali city.

An al-Shabab website says the drone belongs to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. It says the drone carried large cameras with long-distance lenses attached.

There are conflicting reports from witnesses and al-Shabab itself whether the drone was shot down or crashed on its own.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. is expanding a drone surveillance program in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula to gather intelligence and attack al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia and Yemen.

The report said the U.S. is building a new installation for the drones in Ethiopia and has already flown drones over both Somalia and Yemen from a base in Djibouti.

The U.S. has used drones to attack al-Shabab targets in Somalia in the past. The militant group is battling the Somali government and controls large sections of southern and central Somalia.