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Iran Shoots Down US Drone; Oil Price Surges

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Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC shot down a US drone alleging that it violated Iranian airspace for spying.

US confirmed the incident, but denied the allegation, saying no U.S. aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace.

News agencies quoted US officials who refused to reveal their identity as saying that the aircraft was attacked in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz with surface-to-air missile.

Iran's national security council said the intelligence drone entered its airspace early Thursday morning near Kuhmobark in southern Iran, and that it was targeted by an Iranian missile.

The news of the attack, which will escalate tension in the Middle East, was released by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.

The attack had a direct impact on oil price. Brent crude surged 2.23 percent to $63.30 per barrel on Thursday.

The incident took place within three days of US decision to deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in the wake of oil tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman that Washington blamed on Iran

IRGC chief Hossein Salami was quoted as saying that the downing of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, used for surveillance and reconnaissance by the U.S. Air Force, is aimed to send a clear message to Washington that "our borders are Iran's red line and we will react strongly against any aggression".

On June 13, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, triggering tension between the two countries. Following this, oil prices rose by 4 percent.

Similarly, on May 12, two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. has alleged that Tehran was behind the attacks.

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