In Brief

Islamic State uses 'explosive drone' on Western forces

Two reported dead and two injured after attack on French and Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq

Islamic State militants have reportedly used a small drone packed with explosives to attack French and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, according to Le Monde.

Two Peshmerga fighters died and two French Special Operations troops were injured, one of them seriously.

The strike is reportedly the first instance of IS using a commercially available drone as a weapon against Western forces.

"Drone use by militants and insurgent groups has steadily risen for years as cheap off-the-shelf models have become easily acquired and simple to fly," the Washington Post says.

The potential use of explosive drones by militants has been suggested before, by Washington think-tank the Centre for New American Security.

In a March 2016 report by former army ranger Paul Scharre, entitled Uncertain Ground: Emerging Challenges in Land Warfare, the group warned of the dangers of commercially available drones becoming "the new improvised explosive device" (IEDs).

"In the future, IEDs will come looking for US forces," says Scharre.

The Washington Post says insurgent groups in Syria and Iraq have used drones in the past for reconnaissance and occasionally "to drop what appear to be explosives".

French military officials declined to comment.

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