US Drone Down in North Waziristan

Taliban Claim to Have Downed and Captured Drone

A US drone was reported to have crashed today in North Waziristan, just outside of the major town of Miramshah. Reports say that several additional drones were seen in the immediate area shortly after the crash.

Exactly what happened remains unclear, but local residents say they heard gunfire before the crash and one of the Pakistani Taliban factions in the region claimed to have not only shot the drone down, but to have captured it after the crash.

The drones often come under fire from both the militants they are targeting and local tribesmen sick of having them constantly looming overhead, but this appears to be the first time in years they have managed to shoot one down.

The militants who claimed credit for the downing said they used anti-aircraft guns, something intelligence officials confirmed they possess. The militants say they will shoot down further drones in the future.

US drones have been increasingly active in the area, launching 11 separate attacks this month alone. In 2009, they launched 44 attacks, killing a handful of militant leaders and around 700 civilians.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of