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East China Sea: Chinese lasers reportedly blinded US Air Force

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) -US Air Force pilots flying over the East China Sea have been the target of more than 20 laser blinding attempts in the past 10 months, in addition to a number of similar attacks in Africa. ‘East.

More than 20 cases of using lasers to try to blind USAF pilots flying over the East China Sea have been reported since September 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported .

The lasers were used to target US air operations in the Pacific, with 20 incidents recorded since September of last year, according to a US military official who said, on condition of anonymity, that lasers, probably from Chinese origin, had been projected on American planes.

The last case occurred in the past two weeks, said the official, who said none of the incidents resulted in injuries.

Lasers are low power and are available over-the-counter. They may have been used by Chinese fishermen or nationals of other countries in the region. However, Washington does not discount the responsibility of the Chinese authorities.

The attacks resemble incidents in early 2018 in Djibouti, East Africa, after which US military airmen suffered minor injuries to the eyes after being exposed to lasers that, according to the US military , came from a nearby Chinese military base.

The Djibouti incident prompted the United States to formally protest Beijing, although officials have not confirmed whether the lasers used in the Pacific were military or commercial grade.

At a regular press briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “According to what the authorities have told us, the accusations made by the US media are totally unfounded and wrong.”

Chinese state media have denied US defense officials’ allegations of “spreading fables about lasers”.