US appoints new chief for embassy in Cuba

The U.S. announced Thursday a new chief for its embassy in Cuba amid a growing diplomatic crisis between the two nations over mysterious health attacks targeting American personnel.

Lawrence Gumbiner replaces the previous chargé d'affaires Scott Hamilton, who left Havana earlier this month after Washington ordered many U.S. officials to leave the embassy after personnel reported what seemed to be sonic attacks, Reuters reported.

The State Department said the attacks resulted in permanent hearing loss, balancing problems and difficulty sleeping. 

At the time of the attacks, the U.S. had roughly 50 people working at the embassy, according to The Associated Press, meaning that nearly half of its staff fell victim to the incidents.

While the U.S. has not officially accused Cuba of being behind the attacks, President Trump said last week he believed the island nation was the culprit. 

"I do believe Cuba's responsible, I do believe that," the president said.

"And it's a very unusual attack, as you know. But I do believe Cuba is responsible."

Gumbiner was previously posted at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, where he was deputy chief of mission.