Pakistani soldiers fought with Taliban militants on Sunday over the wreckage of a remotely-controlled U.S. drone which crashed near the Afghan border, intelligence officials said. The Pakistani Taliban militants, who are close to al Qaeda, claimed they had shot down the aircraft over the South Waziristan region on Saturday. Security officials could not confirm the cause of the crash. The Taliban have previously made similar claims which were never confirmed. The United States usually does not comment on the drone programme it says is highly effective against al Qaeda and other militant groups. Pakistani security forces launched an operation against the Taliban on Sunday morning in a bid to recover the debris.