July 27th, 2010
01:22 PM ET

WikiLeaks documents: When unmanned aircraft crash, scavengers often follow

WASHINGTON — When unmanned aircraft crash in Afghanistan, scavenger hunters frequently aren't far behind, U.S. military incident reports published by WikiLeaks suggest.

On several occasions, military units sent to recover Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (TUAV) have arrived to find the aircraft stripped of valuable parts. In April of 2007, a parachute deployed on a TUAV that had maintenance issues, one report says. A patrol sent to recover the aircraft couldn't reach it until the next day, when they discovered it was missing some of its electronic components and its payload. The report says the Afghan National Police and local elders "will continue to work with (local residents) to recover any pieces that were collected by inappropriate personnel." FULL POST