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Unmanned US Military Aircraft Crashes in Southern Somalia

Somali officials say a U.S. military aircraft has crashed in a coastal area south of the capital, Mogadishu.

Local government officials say the unmanned plane crashed Friday in the Lower Shabelle region, near the town of Marka. Witnesses say the aircraft came from the direction of the ocean.

Security forces have taken possession of the aircraft, which is equipped with video and data devices.

It is not clear what caused the crash.

Unmanned drones often fly over Somalia gathering information on possible terrorist targets for the U.S. military.

Earlier this month, U.S. planes carried out an air raid on the southern Somali town of Dobley, where the U.S. said al-Qaida members were hiding.

The United States is concerned Somalia has become a breeding ground for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. The country has not had a stable central government since 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.