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Pentagon Denies US Drone Crash in Somalia

FILE - U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile.

FILE - U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile.

The Pentagon is rejecting al-Shabab's claim a U.S. drone crashed Monday in southwestern Somalia.

Pro-al-Shabab websites said the drone carrying six missiles crashed in a rebel-held village called Shan-da'ar in the Gedo region.

The militants claimed on their local radio station that they have taken the crashed drone to a safer location. Somali security sources could not immediately comment on the reported crash.

In an email to VOA, a Pentagon spokesperson said, "All AFRICOM assets in this area are accounted for and we have no indication any were involved in this reported incident."

An official said on condition of anonymity the Somali government heard the information about the drone crash, but could not verify who owned it.

"We heard about the news and we know that drones and war planes have been operating in the region since the last month attack on the military base, which was run by Kenyan troops who are part of the African Union, but we cannot verify whose drone it was." said the official.

The U.S. military has carried out numerous drone attacks in Somalia during the past several years, taking out several high-level members of the al-Shabab.

The insurgent group wants to impose its strict interpretation of Islamic law on Somalia. It has carried out repeated terror attacks in Somalia and around the region.

Mohamed Olad of VOA Somali contributed to this report

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