Apr 10, 2012, 03.39 PM | Source: Reuters
SEYCHELLES-DRONES:U.S. suspends Seychelles drone flights after crashes
One of the remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper aircraft crash-landed last week at the main airport on the island of Mahe shortly after taking off on an unspecified mission.
The planes have carried out missions over Somalia and the Horn of Africa from the Seychelles, according to a classified U.S. diplomatic cable dated 2009.
Local officials say drones based in the archipelago also track pirates in regional waters.
"(The U.S. authorities) gave us the assurance that they will not make any new (drone) flights until the investigation into the accidents is done," Seychellois Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam said on Monday after a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus.
Mabus told reporters thorough and transparent investigations would be carried out whenever such accidents occurred.
(Reporting by George Thande; Editing by Duncan Miriri, John Stonestreet)