US investigating after diplomats fall sick in Havana
WASHINGTON – Agence France-PresseU.S. and Canadian officials were investigating Aug. 10 after diplomats posted to Havana fell ill, amid reports that they may have been targeted by a mysterious sonic weapon.
U.S. officials refused to directly blame Cuba itself for the “incidents,” which appear to have begun last year, and Havana insisted it is working to protect the U.S. mission.
State Department spokeswoman would not detail the nature or number of the injuries, but she confirmed that a number of U.S. diplomats had returned home for treatment.
Unidentified officials told CNN and other U.S. media that the staff may have been harmed by a sonic device fired either inside or outside their Havana residences.
Some countries have developed sonic and ultrasonic weapons that can be used for crowd control or, for example, to deter seaborne pirates without resource to lethal force.
But there are no known cases of such a device being deployed by hostile intelligence services or terrorists against a diplomatic mission.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said investigations are ongoing and that Washington is not directly accusing Cuba of being behind the “incidents.”
But -- justifying the expulsion of two Cuban diplomats from Washington -- she insisted that Cuba, as the U.S. mission’s host nation, bears responsibility for its security.