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Monday, 13 February 2023

US fighter jets shoot down ‘octagonal object’ near Canada border

United States fighter jets have shot down an “unidentified object” flying near the Canadian border in the Midwest, the Pentagon said, the latest incident since a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon put North American security forces on high alert.

The object was flying at 6,100 metres (20,000ft), and while it was not a military threat, it could have potentially interfered with domestic air traffic, Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

It was shot down at 2:42pm local time (19:42 GMT) over Lake Huron on the US-Canada border, the statement said.

It was the third to be shot down over North America in as many days and the fourth in just more than a week.

The flurry of defence activity began in late January when a white balloon appeared over the US and hovered over the country for days. The US said it was a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon and fighter jets eventually brought it down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4.

The latest object appeared to be octagonal in structure, with strings hanging from it but no discernible payload, an official told reporters.

It had been detected over Montana near sensitive military sites, prompting the closure of US airspace, the Pentagon said.

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