Pakistanis, Taliban Battle for Downed Drone
China, Iran could gain access to drone parts
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2011 12:05 PM CDT
Pakistani fighters and Taliban militants fought over a downed US Predator drone today.   (AP Photo//Massoud Hossaini, Pool)

(Newser) – Pakistani troops battled Taliban fighters over a downed CIA drone today, raising fears that America's enemies may gain access to its military technology. Taliban militants reportedly surrounded the Predator in a tribal region of Pakistan, but were fought off by Pakistani soldiers in a 4-hour battle that left three militants dead and two soldiers injured. The Taliban claimed it had shot down the drone, but the US says it crashed due to a mechanical failure.

The Taliban may have little use for drone parts, the Washington Post reports, but Pakistani allies like China and Iran could utilize them. However, one weapons expert says China already has a general knowledge of drone capabilities. Such worries arose after a US stealth helicopter crashed during the lethal raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in May. The US suspected that Pakistan shared the mostly destroyed helicopter with China, which had never before seen stealth technologies.