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8 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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‘Sonic attack’ fears as more US diplomats fall ill in China

The Guardian

BEIJING: More US citizens have been evacuated from China, reviving concerns that American government personnel and their families may be the target of “sonic attacks” by a rival country, reports The Guardian. US state department officials said on Wednesday it had sent “a number of individuals” from its consulate in Guangzhou back to the US for “further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms”. Last month, a consulate worker in Guangzhou was found to have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after reporting “abnormal sensations of sound and pressure” from late 2017 through to April 2018.

The department sent a team to Guangzhou in late May to examine other US staff and their families, and investigate possible links between their symptoms and those of US diplomats in Cuba last year, an incident that prompted Washington to pull its staff from the country and expel Cuban diplomats from the US. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Tuesday announced the formation of a task force to investigate unexplained health incidents among US government personnel and their families overseas.

The latest evacuation suggests what was previously described as an isolated case may turn into a wider diplomatic crisis, at a time when US-China ties are already at a low.

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, described the incident in May involving the US consulate worker as an “individual case”, and one Beijing hoped would not be “magnified, complicated or even politicised”. When the US issued a health alert in May to US citizens in China to report any “unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena”, it said it was not aware of other similar cases within or outside of the US diplomatic community in China.

That has been disputed by Mark Lenzi, a security engineering officer at the consulate in Guangzhou, who, according to the New York Times, was among the personnel evacuated on Wednesday.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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