US recovers debris from balloon shot down which proves it was used for spying

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    The USA has finished recovering the debris of a balloon shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.

    The balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina and initial analysis reportedly proves it was used for spying.

    Teams from the Navy, Coast Guard and FBI are now thought to have scooped up all parts of the balloon, US government officials have said.

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    Officials from the U.S. Northern Command said in a statement that all of the debris had been found on the ocean floor on Thursday (February 16).

    The last items of the recovery mission have since been sent off to an FBI lab in Virginia.

    Local air and maritime restrictions off the coast of South Carolina are now understood to have been removed.

    The news comes off the back of an intense three-week period which has seen a number of objects drift into US airspace.

    US fighter jets have been scrambled on all occasions to destroy them.

    The list of four objects is made up of the original large balloon from China said to be the size of three buses and three further, smaller objects.

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    They were seen and destroyed over Canada, Alaska and Lake Huron.

    The items are the first shootdown of unidentified objects in US airspace in peacetime.

    The search for the smaller object destroyed and sent down over Lake Huron has now been called off.

    Reports claim that nothing has been recovered according to US officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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