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Sat 2 Feb 2008 07:28 PM

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Danger of more web disruption - Du

UAE operator fears damage to undersea cable off Dubai could further disrupt internet services.

UAE operator Du said on Saturday it feard damage to an undersea cable off Dubai could further disrupt internet services after two cables were cut earlier this week.

Cable operating firm Flag Telecom, part of India's Reliance Communications, said earlier on its website that the Falcon cable had been cut 56 kilometres from Dubai, between Oman and the UAE.

The latest break came after two cables on the Mediterranean seabed were damaged on Wednesday, causing widespread disruption to internet services in Egypt, Gulf Arab states and South Asia.

Du said in a statement published by UAE daily Khaleej Times that the new cut could hamper efforts to restore services hit by the earlier damage.

"Du has been informed of new cable damage on the Falcon cable. The new development has added further complications to the existing damage" to the other lines, the newspaper quoted the firm as saying.

The UAE provider said the earlier damage had caused "severe congestion and degradation of international voice calls".

A spokesman for the UAE's largest telecoms operator, Etisalat, told newswire AFP that it did not use the Falcon cable and was therefore not affected.

Flag Telecom said that a repair ship was expected to arrive at the location of the damaged cable in the next few days.

The cause of the latest cable damage was not immediately known.

Flag Telecom owns another undersea cable which was damaged off Egypt on Wednesday. Media reports have attributed that damage to a ship's anchor.

A repair ship was expected to arrive by Tuesday to repair that damage, the company said.

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