Arrests in attempted Internet cable cut

March 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, March 28 (UPI) -- Egypt says three scuba divers were arrested when they were allegedly caught trying to cut a major underwater cable providing Internet service to the country.

"Marine forces today successfully foiled an attempt by three divers while they were cutting a submarine cable for Internet connection belonging to Egypt Telecom," Egyptian coast guard spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said in a statement quoted by news website al-Arabiya.

The alleged cable cutters were arrested on a fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the port city of Alexandria.

While their motives were unclear, it was seen as a sign criminals and terrorists are aware of the economic damage such acts could create.

Another Egyptian sub-sea cable operator, Seacon, has been reporting cable breaks and interruption of Internet services during the past week, affecting trans-Mediterranean lines from Europe to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, NewScientist.com reported.

The region has seen numerous incidents of cut cables, many inadvertently caused by ships' anchors, in recent years, including widespread Internet outages and disruptions across the Middle East on two separate occasions in 2008.

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