A suspected Chinese spy balloon has been shot down off the South Carolina coast by the United States military.
The order to shoot down the balloon was given by President Joe Biden after the balloon was spotted over a week ago and was declared a surveillance balloon by the United States.
The balloon was t have been shot down days ago but concerns about possible debris causing harm to Americans prompted the wait till the balloon was floating over open waters off the South Carolina coast.
Reuters is reporting that the balloon was shot down by an F-22 fighter jet with a single air-to-air missile.
Meanwhile China has condemned the downing of the balloon and said it was a meteorological balloon used for weather observation which accidentally strayed into US territory.
These claims were debunked by US officials who insisted the balloon was on a surveillance mission. The US hopes to recover the remains of the balloon and associated equipment on it to analyze the contents and what information it was collecting.
The US had declared the balloon incident a clear violation of its sovereignty and said it had informed Beijing of the balloon shootdown.