Pakistani intelligence officials say government troops and Taliban militants fought Sunday for possession of debris from a suspected U.S. drone that crashed in the South Waziristan tribal region.
The officials say at least two militants were killed and one Pakistani soldier was wounded in the battle for the wreckage of the sophisticated aircraft that went down late Saturday near the Jangara village. The Pakistani Taliban says it shot down the drone, but Pakistani officials said a technical fault may have caused the crash. Drone crashes inside Pakistan are rare.
U.S. officials do not publicly acknowledge the use of drone strikes inside Pakistan, but privately have confirmed their existence. They say recent drone strikes have killed several high-level militants, including Saudi al-Qaida commander Abu Hafs al-Shahri. Pakistani leaders condemn the strikes as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
In other violence, Pakistani officials say heavily armed Taliban militants attacked a government checkpoint in the Khyber tribal region late Saturday, killing a security force member and four pro-government militiamen. They say Pakistani security forces and local tribesman fought back, killing 10 of the militants.
They were probably battling over which side got to sell the wreckage to China. -- OS