World Bulletin / News Desk
A suspected U.S. reconnaisance drone crashed on Tuesday in southern Somalia, where African forces are fighting Islamist al Shabaab insurgents, the rebels and the provincial governor said.
Lower Shabelle region governor Abdikadir Mohamed Nur said that al Shabaab members had shot at the aircraft over the town of Bulamareer for several hours before it crashed.
"Finally they hit it and the drone crashed," Nur told Reuters.
The insurgents confirmed that a drone had crashed but did not say if they had downed it.
"A U.S. drone has just crashed near one of the towns under the administration of the Mujahideen in the Lower Shabelle region," al Shabaab said on a social media account.
Although the United States does not report its activities in Somalia, drones have been used in recent years to kill Somali and foreign al Shabaab fighters.
Western nations are worried that Somalia will sink back into chaos and provide a launchpad for militancy despite a fragile recovery after two decades of war.
Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon was seeking to send drones to Kenya as part of a $40 million-plus military aid package to help four African countries fighting al Shabaab.
Bulamareer residents said al Shabaab fighters had kept them away from the crash site.
"Al Shabaab fighters surrounded the scene. We are not allowed to go near it," resident Aden Farah told Reuters.Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2013, 17:17