Severe hearing loss of US diplomats in Cuba blamed on 'covert sonic device' planted in earshot of their homes as investigators probe possible Russian link
The two-year-old restored US diplomatic relationship with Cuba was roiled Wednesday by what US officials say was a string of bizarre incidents that left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device.
In retaliation for the hearing loss incidents the US State Department has expelled two Cuban diplomats from the US over safety concerns of American officials and launched an investigation.
Officials familiar with the probe said investigators were looking into the possibilities that the incidents were carried out by a third country such as Russia, possibly operating without the knowledge of Cuba's formal chain of command.
In the fall of 2016, a series of US diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case.
Several of the diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Barack Obama's reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.
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