ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani security forces say they have recovered the wreckage of a U.S. drone that crashed inside Pakistan after flying across the border from Afghanistan.
The incident comes amid tension Washington and Islamabad over missile strikes from U.S. drones at suspected militants on the Pakistan side of the border.
But U.S. officials in Washington and Afghanistan denied a drone had crashed in Pakistan Tuesday.
"We've have had queries both yesterday and today about what you're talking about, but we have no reports of a downed plane," military spokesman Capt. Scott Miller told CNN Wednesday.
The Pakistani military said the drone crashed "apparently due to malfunctioning" at a village near the border region of Angoor Adda on Tuesday night.
The U.S. Embassy had no comment, spokesman Lou Fintor said Wednesday.
The United States is the only nation with forces in the region that is known to be able to launch missiles from the small, quiet and deadly drones.
U.S. attacks inside Pakistan has infuriated Islamabad, which sees such raids as a violation of its sovereignty.
Earlier this month, the U.S. military sent ground forces into South Waziristan without Islamabad's permission. And media reports have said that several months ago, President George W. Bush authorized U.S. commandos to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without seeking Islamabad's permission.
Bush did not directly refer to the incursions when he met his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, for the first time at the United Nations on Tuesday.
"Your words have been very strong about Pakistan's sovereign right and sovereign duty to protect your country, and the United States wants to help," Bush said.
The United States maintains that Taliban and al Qaeda forces operate with relative impunity in tribal areas along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. It says extremists use those areas as a staging ground to attack U.S. forces and their allies inside Afghanistan.
On Saturday, Pakistan's president said the country would not let foreign powers violate the country's sovereignty to pursue terrorists.
"We will not tolerate the violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity by any power in the name of combatting terrorism," Asif Ali Zardari, said in his first speech to parliament since taking the presidential oath this month.
The president's comments echoed those of Gen. Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's military chief, who said recently that the country would not allow foreign forces to conduct operations inside Pakistan.
After news of the U.S. military operation in South Waziristan, Kayani said Pakistan's "territorial integrity ... will be defended at all cost and no external force is allowed to conduct operations ... inside Pakistan."
CNN's Reza Sayah in Islamabad and Saeed Ahmed in Atlanta contributed to this report.
|Most Viewed||Most Emailed||Top Searches|