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Jan 31,2008
Internet knocked out in Mideast, India
by UPI

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt -- Tens of millions of Internet users in India and the Middle East were without service this week after two undersea cables were cut, it was reported Thursday.

Telecommunications companies said damaged cables near Alexandria, Egypt, and Marseille, France, were to blame for the massive outage that began Tuesday and continued Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

The two cables were damaged within hours of each other, the Times said. It hadn't been determined what caused the cables to be cut but the Times noted they can be damaged by geological events or the dragging of a ship anchor.

Egyptian officials said about 70 percent of the country's online traffic was down at the peak of the problem, while officials in Mumbai said India had lost more than half its Internet capacity for a time, though alternatives had been found so service was "largely restored," the Gulf Daily News reported. Service went down entirely at one of Dubai's two service providers and service was interrupted in Kuwait, as well as parts of Saudi Arabia, the newspaper reported.

The Daily News said the Internet collapse caused major problems for businesses and private users in Bahrain. Particularly hard-hit were travel companies and financial markets, the newspaper said.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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