The United States military destroys a fourth flying object over North America.

The United States has shot down another unidentified flying object for the fourth time this month.

Sunday afternoon, President Joe Biden ordered its destruction near Lake Huron, close to the Canadian border.

According to a Pentagon statement, the object could have interfered with commercial air traffic as it was traveling at a height of 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).

On Saturday, it was first detected above military sites in Montana, the report added.

Defence officials have described the object, which was not considered a military threat, as unmanned and octagonal in shape. At 14:42 local time, it was shot down by a missile fired from an F-16 fighter jet (19:42 GMT).

The incident raises additional questions regarding the rash of high-altitude objects shot down over North America this month.

On February 4, a suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina after hovering for days over the continental United States. It originated in China, according to officials, and was used to monitor sensitive sites.

China denied the object was used for espionage and claimed it was an errant weather monitoring device. The incident and subsequent heated exchanges escalated tensions between Washington and Beijing.

However, a defense official reported on Sunday that the United States had communicated with Beijing regarding the first object after receiving no response for several days. It was unclear at first what was discussed.

American fighter jets have shot down three additional high-altitude objects in as many days since the initial incident.

President Biden ordered the destruction of an object over northern Alaska on Friday, and a similar object was destroyed over the Yukon in northwestern Canada on Saturday.

Officials have not disclosed the origin or function of these items. Both the United States and Canada are still working to recover the remains, but Arctic conditions have hampered the search in Alaska.

“These objects did not closely resemble and were much smaller than the [4 February] balloon,” a White House spokesperson for national security said. “We will not definitively characterize them until we recover the debris.”

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