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By Sunita Patel-Carstairs, news reporter

A US military drone has been shot down by an Iranian missile near to the country's airspace.

Unnamed US officials quoted by Reuters and AP news agencies said the intelligence drone was downed in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, south of Iran.

This contradicts reports by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency which said the country's Revolutionary Guard had shot down an American drone in its airspace

Image: One of the items recovered by the US Navy from the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous

IRNA said the drone was hit when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran's Hormozgan province.

Citing the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, IRNA identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk, a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft designed to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

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The Guards' commander-in-chief, Hossein Salami, said the downing of the drone carried a "clear message" to the US that "our borders are Iran's red line and we will react strongly against any aggression".

"Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran," he added.

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Navy Captain Bill Urban, a US Central Command spokesman, earlier denied the reports.

"No US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today," he said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump had been "briefed on the reports of a missile strike in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

"We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with or partners and allies," she added.

It comes a day after Washington announced it was sending another 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to what it described as "hostile behaviour" by Iranian forces.

The US has blamed Iran for attacks on tankers and cargo ships in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz, a major transit route for global oil supplies.

On Wednesday the US navy released pictures of pieces of mines recovered after the attacks which it said "strikingly" resemble those belonging to Iran.

Officials showed debris and a magnetRead More – Source

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Sky News

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