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Sun 10 Feb 2008 02:59 AM

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Anchor blamed for severed Gulf cable

Flag Telecom repair crew finds six-tonne anchor near damaged cable 35 miles north of Dubai.

A six-ton ship anchor was responsible for damage to one of three severed undersea cables which caused severe disruption to internet services throughout the Middle East and India last week, Flag Telecom confirmed on Friday.

The Indian operator said a repair crew had discovered the anchor near where its Falcon fibre-optic cable was severed on February 1 in the Persian Gulf, 35 miles north of Dubai.

The cable would be repaired by Sunday, the company said, adding that the offending anchor had been taken to the surface.

It remains unclear how exactly any of the cuts occurred, or what anchor the vessel belonged to.

A company spokesman said this week a new cable would be laid between Egypt and France that would be “fully resilient” against similar cuts in the future.

Telecom Egypt meanwhile reported that internet services would be restored to normal by Monday, with repairs to one of two cables complete, and work on a second almost done.

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