Potentially hundreds of bystanders nearly perished when a suspected U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone fired a missile over North Waziristan in Pakistan’s restive northwest near the border with Afghanistan last week.
The drone’s target? Another suspected U.S. robotic warplane that had crashed.
As many as 400 people, including government officials and soldiers, had gathered to inspect the crashed aircraft. “We were looking for the wreckage of the drone in Machikhel village, Mir Ali, and were almost close to the debris of the destroyed aircraft when one of the drones flying over the area fired a missile and hit two missiles lying on the ground,” a senior official told The International News.
The missile narrowly missed the crowd. “It would have caused heavy losses to security forces and others engaged in the search operation. They were lucky to survive,” the official said.