SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- A remote-controlled U.S. Air Force spy plane crashed Friday in eastern El Salvador while gathering intelligence on rebel troop movements, U.S. and Salvadoran officials said.
No casualties were reported on the ground from the crash of the spy plane.
'The wreckage was gathered by the Salvadoran Air Force and will be examined to try and determine the cause of the crash,' a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.
A Salvadoran army official said, 'The U.S. Air Force plane was operating as part of U.S.-Salvadoran collaboration in the fight against subversion and to gather information on terrorist movements.
'It is not known why the plane crashed,' said the official, who asked not to be identified.
The official declined to say where the plane was based, saying 'that would compromise security and military intelligence.'
In the past, U.S. Air Force reconnaissance planes have departed from a U.S. base near Palmerola, Honduras.
The type of aircraft was not immediately known. Officials said it was operated by remote control.
The U.S. Embassy spokesman said 'the plane crashed, and as there was no one aboard, obviously no one was injured.'
In October 1984, a U.S. twin-engine turboprop plane crashed or was shot down in Morazan province, killing all four CIA agents aboard.
Leftist rebels fighting the U.S.-backed government have concentrated much of their efforts in the eastern province of Morazan, where they control some areas in the rugged mountains.
In other developments Friday, rebel Radio Venceremos reported U.S.-supplied government planes bombed a village in northern Cabanas province and wounded peasants fleeing from the area.
The clandestine radio of the five rebel armies said Air Force planes late Thursday strafed the town of Jutiapa, 28 miles northeast of San Salvador, in the northern province of Cabanas.
Civilian sources in Jutiapa said three Air Force jets were flying over the area and the sounds of heavy explosions and machine gun fire were heard repeatedly during the night.
However, a Defense Ministry spokesman said there was no fighting in the area and he did not know of any government planes flying over the town.
Radio Venceremos said the planes dropped explosives on the civilians, who were fleeing to a cave.
'They are launching grenades and machine gun fire against the cave where the civilians -- women, children and old people -- are hiding from the Air Force bombing,' the broadcast said.
The radio said some peasants were wounded, but gave no exact casualty figures.
In the last year, the United States has shipped more than a dozen helicopters to the Salvadoran government, bringing the country's air power to 49 armored helicopters, nine A-37 Dragonfly jet bombers and 10 O-2 spotter planes.
Human rights groups and the Catholic Church have accused the military of 'indiscriminate' bombings. Earlier this month, the Air Force bombed a town in Chalatenango province, killing three people, leveling houses and destroying crops.