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Pentagon decides not to shoot down Chinese spy balloon over US


U.S. military officials have decided to not shoot down a Chinese spy balloon that is hovering over the continental United States to avoid creating debris that could potentially injure people and cause damage on the ground, a senior defense official told reporters on Thursday.

The official briefed reporters on Thursday along with Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, who said the North American Aerospace Defense Command and other U.S. government agencies are tracking the “high altitude surveillance balloon.”

“The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic,” Ryder said. “It does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”

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