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U.S. to pull embassy staff out of Cuba as mystery attacks continue

by David Gilbert
Sep 27 2017, 8:00am

U.S. embassy staff will soon be pulled out of Cuba over a series of mysterious sonic attacks, according to a Tuesday report.

McClatchy said the State Department was planning to remove officials and their families from Havana, and operate the embassy with a skeletal staff. The Cuban government is not a suspect in the U.S. investigation, the report added.

During a meeting in Washington Tuesday, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez warned U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson against making hasty decisions over the attacks, which have reportedly injured 25 U.S. staff to date.

According to a readout, Rodriguez stressed the importance of cooperation to “clarify these incidents,” adding that his government would never perpetrate “attacks of any kind against diplomats.”

Read: Nobody knows what’s making U.S. diplomats in Cuba sick

He said the U.S. decision to expel two Cuban diplomats from Washington over the attacks earlier this year was “unwarranted.”

Reports of the injuries first surfaced in October 2016. On Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson told reporters the confirmed number of injuries was 21. However, McClatchy said the figure had risen in recent weeks.

An investigation by AP earlier this month said investigators remain baffled by the attacks, especially as the range of injuries and circumstances vary wildly. Symptoms reported by the victims include dizziness, nausea, severe headaches, balance problems, brain swelling, and tinnitus.

Several Canadian diplomats have also been affected by the mystery attacks, but all have since recovered.