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More Americans Sent Home Amid China 'Sonic Attack' Fears

Consulate workers suffered 'neurological symptoms'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2018 4:53 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2018 6:41 AM CDT
A man carries an umbrella past the US Consulate building in Guangzhou in China's Guangdong province on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)
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(Newser) – Something strange is happening to American diplomats and their families at a US Consulate in China—and it has disturbing echoes of the mysterious attacks on Americans in Cuba. The State Department evacuated at least two more Americans from China Wednesday after they fell ill with what one of them, security officer Mark Lenzi, describes as "neurological symptoms," the New York Times reports. Another employee returned to the US in April after experiencing "abnormal sensations" and was found to have suffered a "mild traumatic brain injury" from an unknown source. Officials say some of the 170 US Consulate workers in Guangzhou and their families will be tested by a team of State Department doctors that arrived in the southern Chinese city last week. State Department officials say the Chinese government is also investigating.

Lenzi tells the Washington Post that in April last year, he started hearing a sound like "marbles bouncing and hitting a floor, then rolling on an incline with a static sound." Victims of the suspected "sonic attacks" in Cuba reported hearing similar sounds. Soon after the noises began, Lenzi says, he began experiencing sleeplessness and severe headaches, as did his wife and their 3-year-old son. He says he initially suspected his next-door neighbor, a fellow American—and later found out that the man was the one sent home in April. He says officials have been downplaying the problem and lying about how many people were affected. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this week that a new task force has been created to investigate such incidents involving US diplomats overseas, the Guardian reports. (Read more US Consulate stories.)

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