Iran 'shoots down Western spy drones' in Gulf

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards have shot down two "Western spy drones" in the Gulf, a senior Iranian commander has been quoted as saying.

"Many" other drones have been shot down over an unspecified period of time, the Fars news agency quoted him as saying.

The head of the Revolutionary Guards' air force wing, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, produced no evidence to support the report.

He said this was the first time news of the incidents had been reported.

The drones were mainly being used in Iraq and Afghanistan but "some violations against our soil" had also occurred, the commander said.

The Revolutionary Guards were set up following the Islamic revolution in 1979, and its commanders have frequently delivered warnings to Israel.

Last August Iran unveiled what it said was its first domestically built drone, the Karrar.

It said it had a range of 1,000km (620 miles) and could carry two 250-pound (115kg) bombs, or a precision bomb of 500 pounds.

There is no independent corroboration of the latest Iranian claims.

The Fifth Fleet of the US navy is based in Bahrain, on the other side of the Gulf from Iran.

Iranian commanders have threatened to block shipping through the strategic Strait of Hormuz if it is attacked.

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