Regime boasts of data from downed drone
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The Iranian government said Sunday that it had recovered data from an American spy drone that went down in Iran last year, including information that the aircraft was used to spy on Osama bin Laden weeks before he was killed. Iran also said that it was building a copy of the drone.
Similar unmanned surveillance planes have been used in Afghanistan for years and kept watch on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. But U.S. officials have said little about the history of the particular aircraft now in Iran's possession.
Tehran, which has also been known to exaggerate its military and technological prowess, says that it brought down the RQ-170 Sentinel, a top-secret drone equipped with stealth technology, and has flaunted the capture as a victory for Iran and a defeat for the United States.
The United States said the drone malfunctioned and downplayed any suggestion that Iran could mine the aircraft for sensitive information because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.
The drone went down in December in eastern Iran and was recovered by Iran almost intact.
Mob sets church afire amid border dispute
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -- A Muslim mob set ablaze a Catholic church frequented by Southern Sudanese in this capital city, witnesses and media reports said Sunday.
The church in the Al-Jiraif district was built on a disputed plot of land, but the Saturday night incident appeared to be part of the fallout from ongoing hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan over control of an oil town on their ill-defined border.
The witnesses and several newspapers said the church had been torched by a mob of several hundred people shouting insults at southerners. Firefighters could not put out the blaze, they said.
One newspaper, Al-Sahafah, said the church was part of a complex that included a school and dormitories. Ethiopian refugees living in the Sudanese capital also used the church.
The mostly Christian and animist South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011.