By Yashwant Raj
Washington, Feb 5 (IANS): Fighter jets have shot down the Chinese spy balloon that had been adrift across US airspace for days now, according to media outlets citing witnesses.
A confirmation was awaited from the US defense department.
The balloon was over the Carolinas at the time.
The Federal Aviation Agency, the US aviation regulator, had closed airspace around are around the time of the shooting and shut down three airports in preparation.
Witnesses recounted in TV interviews and on social media that they saw several fighter jets around the balloon for 30 to 40 minutes before it was shot down.
"We're gonna take care of it," President Joe Biden told reporters just hours before, when asked if the US will shoot down the balloon.
The balloon which was first reported by the US department of defense on Thursday marked a new spike in tensions between the US and China, with the US describing the balloon an "unacceptable" violation of US sovereignty and ed to the postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's high profile visit to Beijing this week.