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'Sonic attack' leads United States to expel two Cuban diplomats

'Sonic attack' leads United States to expel two Cuban diplomats

"We don't have any definitive answers about the source or the cause of what we consider to be incidents", department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Wednesday during a press briefing. "She would not say what the symptoms were except that they were not life-threatening", the AP added.

A senior federal law enforcement official tells NBC News that several U.S agencies are investigating allegations that the Cubans directed some kind of ultrasound energy at US diplomats which left several with damaged hearing.

The FBI and the Diplomatic Security Service are investigating and, speaking on condition of anonymity, a United States government official told CNN that some staff had suffered permanent hearing loss.

"We will not confirm the health status of any Americans whether they're in Cuba, back here at home or elsewhere", Nauert said.

"The Cuban government has been harassing USA personnel working in Havana for decades", he said.

The FBI is reportedly looking into the matter while the State Department works to try and get to the bottom of things, as well.

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.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana was reopened in 2015 following then-President Barack Obama's normalizing of relations with Cuba.

Nauert further emphasized Wednesday that "the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats under the Geneva Convention".

She added: "We had to bring some Americans home or some Americans chose to come home as a result of that".

An investigation has been launched by the FBI and outside officials into whether the attack was carried out by a third country such as Russian Federation, possibly operating without the knowledge of the Cuban chain of command.

The Cuban foreign ministry responded to the allegations saying it was also investigating the situation. "We take those incidents very seriously and there is an investigation now underway".

A vintage auto drives past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017.

President Trump announced a couple of months ago he was rolling back numerous advances with Cuba that Obama had overseen.

The ministry said it had created an expert committee to analyze the incidents and had reinforced security around the USA embassy and US diplomatic residences.

"Cuban territory to be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, without exception", they said in a statement.

Relations with the country have become a significant issue in U.S. politics, he explained, thanks in part to the population of Cuban exiles in Florida, a battleground state in USA elections.