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U.S. Downs Flying Objects

WATERY END U.S. Navy sailors pull a downed Chinese spy balloon from the waters off South Carolina on February 5. The balloon (inset) drifted toward the sea after being shot down by a U.S. fighter jet. U.S NAVY/AP; INSET : EYEPRESS NEWS/SHUTTERSTOCK

United States fighter jets have shot down three flying objects over North America. That was between February 10 and 12. Officials are trying to identify the objects. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been on alert. Earlier this month, jets downed a Chinese spy balloon. It had traveled across U.S. airspace.

Officials say the three recent objects were not a security threat. They could have come from China or from other countries. Lately, NORAD has been watching the skies more closely. That may “partly explain the increase in objects that we’ve detected over the past week,” Melissa Dalton says. She’s a homeland defense secretary.

The spy balloon was shot down on February 4. It was likely capable of listening in on official U.S. communications. China claims it was a weather balloon. The other objects were smaller. They flew much lower. These events have increased tensions between the U.S. and China.

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