U.S. Reports Loss of Drone in Niger, Blames ‘Mechanical Failure’

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A remotely piloted drone has disappeared in the Niger Republic, due to an equipment malfunction, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement on Monday.

“On Feb. 29, U.S. Africa Command lost one remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in the vicinity of Agadez, Niger.

“Our initial and current assessment is that the RPA was lost due to mechanical failure,” AFRICOM said via Twitter.

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AFRICOM issued the statement after pictures of the downed drone began circulating on social media.

“We do not believe the RPA was lost as a result of any hostile action,” AFRICOM spokeswoman Christina Gibson said as quoted by the Marine Times.

Agadez is the site of a recently constructed military base that houses armed drones for surveillance, reconnaissance and combat against Islamist terrorists, according to AFRICOM.

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