Pakistan fights militants for US drone wreckage in Waziristan: Officials

Published: September 18, 2011

Security officials say it crashed apparently due to some technical faults.

MIRANSHAH: Pakistani soldiers fought with Taliban militants on Sunday over the wreckage of a remotely-controlled US drone which crashed near the Afghan border, intelligence officials said.

Pakistani security forces launched an operation against the Taliban on Sunday morning in a bid to recover the debris. At least two militants were killed, security officials said. One army officer was also injured.

The drone had crashed in South Waziristan, part of the lawless tribal belt that Washington calls a global headquarters of al Qaeda, the officials told AFP.

“The American drone crashed in Zangara village of South Waziristan, apparently because of some technical faults,” a security official in Peshawar said.

Zangara is 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan.

Two intelligence officials in Wana, the main town of South Waziristan, confirmed the incident. It was an armed Predator drone, they said.

The United States uses unmanned surveillance aircraft in its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan to monitor militants in Pakistan, from where al Qaeda and Taliban-linked fighters launch attacks in Afghanistan.

It also uses Predator armed drones to launch missile attacks aimed at militants in Pakistan’s unstable northwestern border areas.

US drone crashes are very rare in Pakistan, but a surveillance drone equipped with a camera crashed in southwestern Pakistan on August 25.

In September 2008, tribesmen in South Waziristan claimed to have shot down another surveillance drone in Jalal village, near the Afghan border.

The Pakistani army said at the time that it was investigating that incident but did not make the results of the probe public.

The US drone campaign is deeply unpopular among an anti-American Pakistani public and the government has publicly demanded an end to the attacks.

However, in private, Pakistani military and civilian leaders are thought to co-operate with the programme and Washington says it has been successful in eliminating a number of al Qaeda- and Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan.

Around two dozen drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since elite US forces killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a suburban home near Pakistan’s main military academy in Abbottabad, close to the capital, on May 2.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Atheist, India
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:21PM

    China is gonna be so happy…

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  • Faisal
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:47PM

    Why have not mentioned how many civilians have been killed in drone
    attacks. Only In 2007 708 people were killed in which 8 were millitants & 700 were civilians as per reports. So be realistic & demand to stop them ! Force a UN Trail & criminal court over drone attacks

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  • Pragmatist
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:53PM

    The drone was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force jet.

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  • Cyncial
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:58PM

    An American dignitary will soon visit Pakistan asking “Do More” and an article in Washington Post linking ISI to some anti-American activity to built up pressure. And then Americans will say “Give us the drone back” and we will provide you some “insignificant” millions for the flood victims.

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  • TightChuddi
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:25PM

    It was brought down by the mighty PAF…need to do this more often

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  • guest-worker
    Sep 18, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Shooting a drone with f16 is cost ineffective. must develop better SAMS

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  • punjab
    Sep 18, 2011 - 3:43PM

    @Pragmatist: wow,talk bout patting your own back.funny how pakistani airforce hasnt said anything or confirmed anything but some people will believe whatever makes them happy.

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  • Isaanman
    Sep 18, 2011 - 4:50PM

    Need more drones in that area and wipe out the murdering Taliban.

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  • Majid
    Sep 18, 2011 - 5:01PM

    @Faisal:
    Source? When making up figures, at least try to make them realistic.

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  • y khan
    Sep 18, 2011 - 5:30PM

    Could the so called technical failure be a rocket fired from the ground?

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  • Nas
    Sep 18, 2011 - 5:53PM

    @faisal

    Can we have a reference for the numbers you quoted please?

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  • malik
    Sep 18, 2011 - 6:15PM

    China will give a good price for this surely !!

    And using this, we can extract more billions from US !

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  • Noreen
    Sep 18, 2011 - 6:22PM

    Why does our Islamabad not launch opewration on Miranshah. Recommend

  • biryani
    Sep 18, 2011 - 6:40PM

    ok… so now our soldiers will fight and die for US wreckage…….

    common its indignity, humiliation…… look wat they do to ur brothers all around the world and look what u do to them

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  • TightDhoti
    Sep 18, 2011 - 6:51PM

    Wow! So the Army fights the Taliban over wrecakge but wont fight them to extend their soveirgnty into North Waziristan and take out those people responsible for the deaths of 32000 Pakistanis?

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  • Fawad
    Sep 18, 2011 - 7:59PM

    CHINA PLS MAKE COPIES OF IT ASAP & GIVE US BACK:)

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  • asif
    Sep 18, 2011 - 8:22PM

    Dear ET, Instead of focusing on creating an appealing website, we will be better served if YOU create original reports about strategic incidents/events in Pakistan instead of relying on Reuters or other agencies. Any young investigative journalists that are willing to report on a drone attacks ?

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  • Sep 18, 2011 - 9:02PM

    We got one of our men injured, dont tell me you gonna hand over the debris to USA!

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Sep 18, 2011 - 9:04PM

    why Pak army and Taliban are so desperate to grab the wreckage there is something special has happened with this drone.Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Sep 18, 2011 - 9:35PM

    @Noreen:
    bibi, for americans we lost everything including self respect,own systems,soldiers,national hood and they are only involved in arming terrorists,preparing suicide, attackers and treat us like slave and publicly they call us friend and ally. When it come to pay for ports and roads they are using for supply to their troops then resort to delays in every timely payments. .Haqqani group is old friends of American since they have come to know the real face of americans and double game, now USA wants us to attack them,why should we create enemy for us.

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  • david
    Sep 19, 2011 - 12:26AM

    @Atheist, India:

    and india is gonna be soooooooooo sad….tsk tsk…!

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  • Doctor
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:30AM

    @ Faisal – you are kidding yourself brother. The people who live in FATA generally love the drone strikes. Like us normal Pakistanis, they were sick of years of being terrorized by their government (the Taliban) and are now happy to see their overlords being shot down by the drones.

    You too would be pretty thrilled if all the gundas in your neighborhood got shot down by drones. Imagine if you lived in Orangi in Karachi and lived in daily fear of being shot and maimed and a drone came around and killed all the madmen? You would be thrilled.

    All the ACTUAL data – go on Wikipedia and read it, shows that drones are highly precise and effective. Yes, some civilians are killed but these are usually sisters/wives/children of terrorists who are stuck and hurt by their terrorist fathers, brothers, husbands, etc.

    Long live the drones. Go drones go!

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  • Zain Kamran
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:36AM

    Reverse engineering, me love. Reverse engineering !!!

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:49AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Very surprisingly and strangely when any terrorist activity occurs any where in Pakistan or in the world this news the news channels telecast that Taliban has accepted its responsibility and why this time media and official resources are not accepting the local Taliban’s claim that they have shot down US drone?Recommend

  • islooboy
    Sep 19, 2011 - 10:49AM

    for all those who want operation in waziristan people(humanbiengs) live there we cant carpet bomb villiages most of the people are simple herds menRecommend

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