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Iran brings down foreign unmanned aircraft

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-24 12:46

TEHRAN  -- Iran's elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has captured a foreign unmanned aircraft during a military exercise in southern Iran, the official IRNA news agency said on Saturday.

The electronic warfare unit of the IRGC spotted signals that "foreign and enemy drones" were attempting to enter Iranian airspace, General Hamid Sarkheili, a spokesman for the drill, was quoted by IRNA as saying.

After controlling its navigation system, IRGC experts brought a drone down near the city of Sirjan, where the military exercise began on Saturday, Sarkheili said.

"We have managed to bring down an enemy drone. This has happened before in our country," he said.

Sarkheilim, however, did not specify whether the drone belonged to the United States.

Tehran has claimed several times that it had captured U.S. drones, including an advanced RQ-170 Sentinel CIA spy drone in December 2011 and at least three ScanEagle aircraft.

In early January, an Iranian navy commander claimed the capture of two small U.S. drones in past missions in addition to at least four others reported earlier.

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