A U.S. military official has said that military planes have been targetted by lasers while flying in the Pacific, noting that 20 incidents have already been recorded since last September, with the latest one being within the last two weeks, reports CNN. These lasers have the capability to blind pilots, making the situations dangerous. The military official, who didn't want to go on the record with CNN, also shared that the Chinese are suspected to be the sources of those laser flashes. Meanwhile, command spokeswoman Marine Maj. Cassandra told Aviation Week that the incidents have originated "from a range of different sources both ashore and from fishing vessels." No injuries were reported resulting from these incidents.
While these incidents have been happening around the East China Sea, where there is a heavily trafficked area for shipping as well as where there are disputed island chains that both China and Japan laying claim to them, there were similar attacks that occurred earlier this year. Those attacks happened in the East African country of Djibouti. The U.S. military said in those instances there were injuries and the lasers were traced to a nearby Chinese military base, reports CNN. The website also reported that at a press briefing Friday, Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said, "According to what we have learned from the relevant authorities, the accusations in the relevant reports by U.S. media are totally groundless and purely fabricated."