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U.S. drone crashes into Iraqi political office

The unmanned Shadow aircraft, which was carrying no weapons, struck a Mosul regional office of the Iraqi Islamic Party, Iraq's largest Sunni political party.

September 27, 2009|Associated Press

BAGHDAD — A U.S. military drone crashed Saturday in northern Iraq, hitting a regional office of Iraq's largest Sunni political party in an area that remains an insurgent stronghold, an American military official said.

The unmanned aerial vehicle crashed into the local office of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Mosul.

The U.S. military identified the crashed drone as a Shadow model, which does not carry weapons and is routinely used in areas like Mosul to track insurgents planting explosives.

There was no immediate indication that the drone was shot down, and the cause of the crash was under investigation, said Maj. Derrick Cheng, a U.S. military spokesman. There were no reports of injuries.

Cheng said the drone struck the party office about 7 a.m., damaging the roof of the building.

"It was only by coincidence that the UAV impacted the Mosul Islamic Party headquarters," Cheng said.

American troops recovered the drone.

Yahya Abid Mahjob, a senior party member, said the drone hit the roof and then crashed into the back yard. He said the party was calling on the U.S. military to take more precautions with their unmanned aircraft.

A U.S. Air Force Predator drone crashed this month in central Iraq, but caused no injuries or damage, the military said. The Predator is used for reconnaissance and surveillance, and can also fire Hellfire missiles.

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