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Congo Drone Crash Kills

As if things weren't enough of a Hobbesian nightmare in the Democratic Republic of Congo, comes this horrible news: a Belgian drone fell from the skies over the Congolese capital city of Kinshasa, "killing one woman and injuring [at least] two others," according to Flight International. It's "believed to be the world's first case of a civilian being killed by a crashing military UAV," or unmanned aerial vehicle.hunter_takeoff.jpgThe Hunter-B drone's "forward and rear engines cut out for unknown reasons just after taking off... [then it] burst into flames when it hit the ground," says South Africa's News 24.

"It is too soon to give reasons as to why the engines cut out," Belgian Lieutenant-Colonel Yves Vermeer, the head of the Eufor [European Union force] UAV unit, added, but said that it was "unlikely" to have been shot down.On July 28, two days before the first round of the presidential election in the DRC, another UAV was lost when it was shot down over the capital by small-calibre gunfire, injuring eight people.That one was replaced, so Eufor now has three UAVs left, all provided by the Belgian armed forces, together with light-armoured vehicles, and combat and transport helicopters.The EU force is made up of about 2 300 soldiers drawn from 20 member states plus Turkey with 1 100 based in Kinshasa and 1 200 backing up in Gabon.They are there until November 30 to provide security for the presidential and legislative elections in the DRC.While waiting "to discover the exact causes of the accident, Eufor has suspended all UAV flights," said its spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thierry Fusalba.
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