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Internet Services in Pakistan Disrupted Again Due to Undersea Cable Damage

Telecommunication networks are encountering disruptions due to damage inflicted on submarine cables in the Red Sea. Providers are being forced to reroute up to 25% of traffic between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, including internet traffic. Reports from Hong Kong-based telecoms company HGC Global Communications indicate that cables owned by four major telecom networks have been severed, leading to significant disruptions in communication networks in the Middle East.

In a statement released on Monday, HGC revealed that approximately 25% of traffic between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East has been impacted. The company is actively redirecting traffic to minimize disruption for its customers and is assisting affected businesses. However, HGC did not disclose the cause of the cable damage or identify any responsible parties.

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According to South Africa-based Seacom, the company owning one of the affected cable systems, repairs are not expected to begin for at least another month. This delay is partly attributed to the lengthy process of obtaining permits to operate in the affected area. The damage to cables in the Red Sea follows warnings from the official Yemeni government weeks earlier, cautioning about potential targeting of cables by Houthi rebels. These Iranian-backed militants have previously disrupted global supply chains by attacking commercial vessels in this strategic waterway. Israeli news outlet Globes reported last week that the Houthis were allegedly responsible for the cable damage. However, Yemeni rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi denied these accusations, stating, “We have no intention of targeting sea cables providing internet to countries in the region.”

Subsequently, the Houthis have shifted blame to British and US military units operating in the area for the damage, as reported by the rebels’ official news agency on Saturday.

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