Police in Afghanistan are investigating whether a bird found carrying explosives could have been part of a plot by insurgents to bomb a town in northern Afghanistan.
Local authorities discovered the bird was covered in wires and was carrying explosive pouches after it was shot down on Monday morning.
The police also confirmed that a camera had been found found strapped to the animal, as well as a GPS tracking advice.
The bird first caught the attention of police after it was spotted flying near a police checkpoint in an area of the Faryab province renowned for Taliban are active.
After officers spotted the bird was carrying what appeared to sbe an antenna, they made the decision to shoot the bird.
Police then investigated the fallen bird's dead body and found that it was carrying equipment that could be used to cause an explosion. Provincial Police Chief, Abdul Nabi Ilham, told American news channel NBC that police had noticed the antenna and decided to shoot. He said that the bird exploded upon being shot and "suspicious metal stuff" had been scattered around the surrounding area.
He told CBS: “We are gathering all the stuff, but (we have) found parts of what looks to be GPS and a small camera.”
The incident in Faryab comes at a time when there has been an escalation of violence in Afghanistan, ahead of the removal of all foreign combat troops from the country at the end of the year.
Over the past two weeks of weeks, there have been a number of high-profile attacks in the country’s capital Kabul.
On Saturday, four people were killed including a South African aid worker and his two children after a suicide attack was carried out in a foreign compound popular with westerners.
It was the second explosion of its kind in three days and follows a period that has seen nine suicide attacks on Kabul in the last two weeks.
The attacks prompted the city’s police chief to step down and have heightened fears that Afghanistan’s 300,000-strong security force is unable to cope with the Taliban insurgency unassisted by foreign troops.