BBCI: Sixteen US staff in Cuba hurt in 'acoustic attack'

Out of hearing range Sven Creutzmann  Mambo

Out of hearing range Sven Creutzmann Mambo

According to CBS News, the diplomats suffer from symptoms ranging from hearing loss and nausea to headaches and balance disorders.

The sonic weapon caused immediate physical sensations, though it was not always within the realm of audible sound and sometimes took place while the diplomats were asleep.

The doctor, one of several who reviewed their cases, included a warning in the medical records about the health risks of future exposures.

The incidents have caused some USA diplomats to cut short their stays on the island.

The State Department has yet to identify a definitive source of the attacks and Cuba has denied any involvement.

"When I say an active investigation is under way, in part what that means is we don't know exactly where this came from", Nauert said.

US embassy workers in Cuba have also reported vehicle vandalism, constant surveillance, and home break-ins, CBS News reported. Canada helped broker talks between the countries.

The State Department said "incidents" began affecting the health of diplomats in Cuba beginning in late 2016. They were subjected to other types of harassment while stationed in Havana including vandalism to vehicles, surveillance and home break-ins, CBS News reports.

The US expelled two Cuban diplomats from Washington in retaliation. "We have worked with the Cubans to try and find out what is going on". The diplomats underwent comprehensive audiological evaluations and a battery of other tests.

In a story straight from the pages of a Cold War spy novel, the deterioration in health of the diplomats comes after a freaky series of events in the autumn of previous year when U.S. staff stationed at a newly reopened embassy in Havana first complained of feeling unwell.

Two weeks ago Rex Tillerson, the USA secretary of state, condemned potential "health attacks" when reports of the symptoms first came to light.

Although Washington expelled two Cuban diplomats over the incidents, Cuba has said it was investigating the United States allegations and would never allow its territory to be used for any action against diplomatic personnel or their families.

At the end of May, the US also expelled two Cuban embassy officials in Washington.

After months of investigation, USA officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound but it was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other objective.

The U.S. officials weren't authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

At least 16 USA government employees suffered symptoms after a possible acoustic attack targeting the U.S. embassy in Cuba, the state department says.

The incident is a set back for the recently restored U.S. diplomatic relationship with Cuba.

"We remain in regular contact with the Cuban government to emphasize that we take these incidents very seriously and to resolve this matter in a satisfactory manner", a State Department spokesperson for Western Hemisphere Affairs tells CBS News.

She said the investigation is still ongoing across multiple agencies in the United States.

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