United States diplomats evacuated from China over mystery illness from suspected sonic attack

Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star

The department said on Wednesday that "a number of individuals" were sent to the United States for further evaluation following initial medical screenings.

But with the same symptoms being reported in Guangzhou, American officials have raised suspicions about whether other countries, perhaps China or Russian Federation, might be to blame, the Times reported.

The US said its officials were the victims of "specific attacks", but has not yet blamed anyone for being responsible.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a congressional hearing in May that the symptoms experienced by a USA diplomat past year in Guangzhou "are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba".

"After almost a year of investigation that has drawn on intelligence, defense and technology expertise from across the US government, the FBI has been unable to determine who might have attacked the diplomats or how".

An employee first fell sick last month in China, and now another employee, his wife and their two children were evacuated after the adults showed signs of neurological symptoms.

The New York Times reported that at least two employees removed from China experienced unusual noises while there.

The department said it had sent a team to Guangzhou and set up a task force to oversee the response to the mystery attacks in China and Cuba.

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A USA official, who wasn't authorised to discuss the situation publicly and requested anonymity, said that the evacuated American government workers were being brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where doctors have been treating and studying patients who had been evacuated from the U.S. embassy in Havana.

The preliminary findings of the medical reports on the 24 personnel affected in Cuba showed they had sensory and memory problems similar to the brain dysfunction seen with concussions.

The State Department said it suspects the noises were part of a targeted attack, and accused Cuba of not doing enough to protect American diplomats.

The U.S. first pulled out all nonessential staff in Cuba in September, followed shortly after by the expulsion of 15 Cuban diplomats from their U.S. post.

In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the symptoms experienced by the American worker evacuated from China in April were the same as those exhibited by diplomats in Cuba during testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

It serves four southern provinces with a combined population of more than 204 million and processes more than 1 million visa applications of all types annually.

It's also the only USA diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions. "We are working to figure out what took place both in Havana and now in China as well".

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