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U.S. officials have said the main reason they shot down the satellite was because of the potential health hazard to humans in the event the satellite's fuel tank, carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic hydrazine, landed in a populated area.

I think 'because of' makes the sentece more understandable.
But can we omit 'because of'?

Thanks
LiJ
Comments  
I would leave it out. You're likely to get differing opinions on this though. Also, LANDED might be changed to WOULD LAND.

mr steve
Hi LiJ

IMO, you can remove because of. According to English usage books, 'The reason is ... because' is incorrect.

You could rephrase the sentence as folllows:

U.S. officials have said they shot down the satellite mainly because of the potential health hazard to humans in the event the satellite's fuel tank, carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic hydrazine, landed in a populated area.
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Yoong Liatmainly because of the potential health hazard to humans in the event (that) the satellite's fuel tank, carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic hydrazine, landed in a populated area.
Thanks to Anon and YL, I understand.
My understanding is the above -- landed is the subjunctive in 'that' clause.