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U.S. downs Chinese balloon over ocean, moves to recover debris

Posted at 3:03 PM, Feb 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-04 18:11:35-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

An operation was underway in U.S. territorial waters to recover debris from the balloon,. It had been flying at about 60,000 feet and was estimated to be about the size of three school buses.

Television footage showed a small explosion, followed by the balloon descending toward the water. U.S. military jets were seen flying in the vicinity and ships were deployed in the water to mount the recovery operation.