Islamabad, Sept 24 : If Pakistan intelligence officials are to be believed, the country's security forces shot down a suspected US military drone close to the Afghan border last night. If true, it would be the first US pilot-less aircraft brought down by Pakistan.
The aircraft was reportedly hit at the village of Jalal Khel in South Waziristan after it made several rounds of the area for several hours. Wreckage was strewn on the ground, said the Pakistan intelligence sources.
The shooting down the drone is likely to add to tensions between Washington and Islamabad over recent American cross-border incursions into the country's lawless tribal regions. Over the past few weeks, Pakistan has expressed displeasure at US' incursions into its territory from across the Afghan border.
Without confirming or denying the incident, a US military spokesman in Afghanistan Capt. Christian Patterson said that officials were looking into the claim, reported the cbsnews.com.
While causing widespread anger among Pakistanis, the apparent the US raids, including missile strikes and a ground assault, have underlined Washington's concerns that the Pakistan government was unwilling or incapable of rooting out the Taliban and other extremists on the border.
The US is known to operate drones in neighboring Afghanistan that are sometimes used to conduct surveillance of suspected militant hideouts inside Pakistan and occasionally launch missile attacks on the havens. Washington generally does not acknowledge the strikes, which Pakistani officials say often miss their targets and kill or injure civilians, including, fuelling tribesmen's support for the militants.
South Waziristan and other tribal areas in Pakistan's northwest are a haven for al Qaeda and Taliban militants who cross into Afghanistan to attack American and NATO troops as well as for Pakistani extremists who are striking targets in Pakistan.