21:43 GMT +318 November 2019
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    This photo taken on August 1, 2017 shows Chinese People's Liberation Army personnel attending the opening ceremony of China's new military base in Djibouti

    US Asks China to Probe Incidents of Targeting Airmen With Lasers in Djibouti

    © AFP 2019 / STR
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Chinese military personnel is using lasers to target American military flight crews over Djibouti, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    The US Defense Department has requested Beijing to investigate incidents of Chinese military staff targeting US airmen with lasers over Djibouti, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said.

    "They are very serious incidents. There have been two minor injuries," White said. "This activity poses a true threat to our airmen. We have formally demarche the Chinese government and we’ve requested that the Chinese investigate these incidents."

    Pentagon officials earlier told The Wall Street Journal several multiple laser-related incidents occurred over the past several weeks, including one in which two American service members received minor eye injuries due to a laser beam aimed at their C-130 turboprop.

    "The US has notified airmen to exercise caution when flying in certain areas in Djibouti. This notice was issued due to lasers being directed at U.S. aircraft on a small number of separate occasions over the last few weeks. Lasers pointed at aircraft have the potential to cause serious harm to the aircrew and the surrounding area," Pentagon spokeswoman, Maj. Sheryll Klinkel said.

    READ MORE: US Pilots Warned of Powerful Lasers Coming From Near China's Djibouti Base

    Chinese officials have previously complained about foreign military planes flying over its outpost in Djibouti, the report said.

    China's base in Djibouti is the first overseas military facility for Beijing, according to media reports. Djibouti is strategically located on the Horn of Africa. 

    The Asian country is working on a network of naval and air bases in and around the Indian Ocean as Beijing invests to create a military capable of force projection and increased global influence.


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    crew, military base, flight, Pentagon, Djibouti, Africa, China, United States
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