Cuba

U.S. identifies two more victims of mysterious sonic attacks in Havana

The U.S. State Department added two more victims to the list of diplomats who have suffered mysterious attacks in Havana.

The number of Americans affected is now 24.

“Based on continued assessments of U.S. government personnel, we can confirm 24 persons have experienced health effects from the attacks,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “As we have said previously, an investigation into the attacks in Cuba is ongoing, and we revise our assessments as we receive new information.”

According to Nauert, the assessments are based on medical evaluations of personnel who were affected by incidents earlier this year, not by new attacks.

The most recent medically confirmed attack occurred in late August, she said. The spokeswoman said the government cannot rule out that new cases may emerge “as medical professionals continue to evaluate members of the embassy community.”

The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Cuba because of the alleged attacks on its personnel in Havana. The victims have reported a variety of symptoms ranging from hearing loss and headaches to brain damage. In particular, the agency warned Americans of staying away from Hotel Capri and Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana, where some of the attacks took place.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of one of the sounds heard by some of the affected diplomats and intelligence officials. Others said they heard other noises or heard no sounds, prompting experts to believe a sonic device may have triggered the symptoms.

The U.S. government has not found who is behind the incidents but insists that Cuba has a responsibility to protect diplomats.

On Monday, President Donald Trump said Cuba was “responsible” for the attacks. The State Department then clarified that the president was referring to the responsibility of the Cuban government to protect diplomats in its territory.

“But to anyone who knows anything about the Cuban government and the past of the Cuban government, it’s hard to imagine that certain things would not be known that they were taking place on that island right there,” Nauert said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The Cuban government, meanwhile, denies any involvement in the events and questioned the very existence of the attacks, claiming that it has not found “evidence” of them.

Follow Nora Gámez Torres on Twitter: @ngameztorres

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