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Iran shoots down US drone over its territory

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Tehran:Iran on Thursday said it had shot down a US “spy drone” which violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States.

The US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was hit with a missile “after violating Iranian air space” over the waters of Hormozgan province, the Guard said in a statement.

The Iranian military did not immediately publish images of the drone.

The incident comes at a time of growing antagonism between Iran and the United States following two waves of still unexplained attacks on Gulf shipping.

The United States has accused Iran of being behind the attacks.

Tehran has denied any involvement and hinted that Washington might have orchestrated them itself to provide a pretext for the use of force against Iran.

Tensions have been running high between Iran and the United States ever since President Donald Trump abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement in May last year.

The subsequent reimposition of crippling unilateral sanctions has dealt a heavy blow to Iran´s already flagging economy.

Washington has also bolstered its military presence in the Middle East in a campaign of “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

Its deployment to the Gulf of an aircraft carrier task force as well as B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and a missile defence battery has sparked fears of fresh conflict in the region.AFP