TA - A US surveillance drone crashed near Frontier Corps (FC) Cantonment in Chaman, a bordering town near Afghanistan on Thursday.
Frontier Corps officials, while confirming the crash of US unmanned plane, said it was Unarmed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) measuring 4 meter wide and 3 meters long having two cameras and fell 300 meters east of Frontier Corps Balochistan fort. They say that the site of the crash was approximately 2 Kilometres inside Pakistani territory.
The officials also confirmed that American UAV had been doing surveillance over Pak-Afghan border areas for about an hour, but crashed due to technical fault. However, they denied that Pakistani forces shot US pilot aircraft, however, expressed concern over intrusion of American spy aircraft. They said the incident did not cause any damage to life and property. They suspected the drone crashed at 7:00 pm approximately.
On the other hand, the local residents of Chaman border town say that spy aircraft was in the air on border areas from 5:00 pm in the evening and after remaining in the air for two hours either was brought down or crashed due to technical fault.
We witnessed the aircraft at 5:00 pm in the air, but could not judge whether it was in Pakistani or Afghan air space, however, we suspect that it was brought down when entered into Pakistan side, said one Atta Mohammad.
Sources said soon after the incident personnel of FC cordoned off the area and shifted the wreckage to FC fort. Two cameras and other spare parts were recovered they added.
It may be mentioned here that US drones and jets planes frequently violate Pakistani air space in border areas.
Such crashes of US aircraft are rare in the country but one of the Pakistans own surveillance drones crashed in Karachi in July after hitting a bird on a routine flight.
In September 2008, tribesmen in the South Waziristan tribal district claimed to have shot down a US surveillance drone in Jalal village near Afghan border.
The Pakistani army said it was investigating but did not make the results of that probe public.
The United States uses unmanned aircraft in its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and to monitor militants in Pakistan. It also uses Predator armed drones to launch missile attacks aimed at militants in the countrys northwestern border areas.
The campaign is deeply unpopular among an anti-American public and the government has publicly demanded an end to the attacks, although in private military and civilian leaders are thought to co-operate with the programme.
The New York Times reported this month that Pakistan probably let Chinese engineers examine the wreckage of a top-secret US stealth helicopter that crashed in the country during the raid killing Osama bin Laden.
Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said US intelligence agencies concluded it was likely that Chinese engineers at the invitation of Pakistani spies took detailed photographs of the severed tail of the Black Hawk helicopter equipped with classified technology designed to elude radar.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States are at a low point, strained by the covert American raid that killed bin Laden.
Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: A spokesman of ISPR confirmed the crash of unidentified surveillance drone two kilometres inside the Chaman border.
He said the wreckage had been recovered and the matter was under investigation to furnish details of the incident.