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Somali Militants Claim To Have Shot Down U.S. Drone

A 2007 file photo released by the Department of Defense, An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.
A 2007 file photo released by the Department of Defense, An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.

A suspected U.S. reconnaissance drone has crashed in a region of southern Somalia controlled by the al-Shabab militant group, a governor of the region says.

Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters that al-Shabab had shot down the aircraft over the coastal town of Bulamareer, south of the capital, Mogadishu.

"Finally they hit it and the drone crashed," he said.

"A U.S. drone has just crashed near one of the towns under the administration of the Mujahideen in the Lower Shabelle region," al-Shabab said in an announcement on Twitter.

The militant group also promised it would release photographs of the downed drone in the coming hours.

"Al-Shabab fighters surrounded the scene. We are not allowed to go near it," resident Aden Farah told Reuters.

U.S. official have yet to comment on the report.

The al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabab were pushed out of the capital by African Union forces in late 2011, but it still controls much of central and southern Somalia.

Two years ago, The Washington Post and other media outlets reported a new secret drone bases in the Horn of Africa region and the Arabian Peninsula.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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