More network cables cut in Middle East

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More network cables cut in Middle East

Less than a week after Egypt lost two-thirds of its international networking cables, two more lines have been cut off the coast of Dubai.

On Friday cables linking the United Arab Emirates were also cut.

Since most traffic is now being diverted the long way around the globe via the Pacific undersea network, the impact of the new breakage is likely to be limited.

However, questions are being raised about the cause of the initial breakage which cut internet access to 70 per cent of the Egyptian population.

The Egyptian government has said that, contrary to earlier reports, the cable could not have been cut by a ship's anchor since the breaks occurred in an area banned to shipping.

The authorities insisted that no ships had passed into the forbidden zone in the 12 hours before and after the outage.

Egyptian Minister of Transport Engineering Mohamed Mansour confirmed that there were no passing ships at that time.

Meanwhile, some bloggers are suggesting that the breaks in the line were caused deliberately in an attempt to interfere with Iran's internet access in preparation for more direct action by the US.

"On the assumption that the cable cuts were no accident, we must ask ourselves who would do such a thing and why," said Ian Brockwell from American Prospect.

"Clearly Iran, [which was] most affected, would gain nothing from such an action and [is] perhaps the target of those responsible.

"But why would anyone want to disrupt communications in Iran [and other countries]?

"Could this be some subtle message to Iran, an example of how [its] communications can be affected by outside forces? Maybe this is a prelude to an attack, or perhaps a test run for a future one."

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