US Air Force Drone Crashes in Southern Afghanistan

US Air Force Drone Crashes in Southern AfghanistanUS Air Force Drone Crashes in Southern Afghanistan

An unmanned American aircraft crashed at an airfield in southern Afghanistan less than three months after an identical drone went down in November, a US Air Force spokesman said on Sunday.

After ending its combat mission in 2014, the US military still uses air strikes by drones and other aircraft in Afghanistan to target suspected members of al-Qaeda and Islamic State and back up Afghan forces battling a Taliban insurgency, Reuters reported.

There were no injuries or civilian damage in the crash of the state-of-the-art $14-million MQ-9 Reaper late on Saturday night, Captain Bryan Bouchard of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing said in a statement.

“The crash was contained on Kandahar airfield,” he added. “US Air Force authorities will investigate the cause of the crash but hostile fire was not a factor.”

Usually guided remotely by pilots outside Afghanistan, unmanned aircraft have played a major, and sometimes controversial, role in the American war, acting as spy planes and launching missiles at suspected militants.