A military drone operated by US forces in Afghanistan has crashed in the southern province of Kandahar. Washington has dismissed the possibility of the unmanned aerial vehicle being shot by hostile fire.
The $14m worth UAV came down in an airfield, said the US Air Force. There were neither injuries to personnel nor damage to facilities due to the crash.
"The crash was contained on Kandahar airfield. US Air Force authorities will investigate the cause of the crash but hostile fire was not a factor," reads a statement issued by Captain Bryan Bouchard of the 455<sup>th Air Expeditionary Wing, which oversees air force operations in Bagram and Kandahar airfields. The crashed drone was a cutting-edge MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
US forces have recently intensified their drone campaign which has a mixed record. A similar drone crashed at the same location in November 2015.
The MQ-9 Reaper, designed as a sophisticated hunter-killer machine, can be operated from a remote location. The UAVs can carry a payload of up to 1,700kgs including state-of-the-art Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs.