'Cowardly' attack by 'armed group'
EarthLink reports deliberate sabotage, disrupting internet for over 40,000 users
BAGHDAD – EarthLink announced Saturday that vandals damaged 16 cabins and optical cables in various areas east of the canal, disrupting internet service for more than 40,000 users. The company said armed groups were responsible for the acts, noting that the targeting is not the first of its kind.
Statement by EarthLink:
The infrastructure under the Iraqi Ministry of Communications, implemented by National Internet Services, the main provider of internet cable services in Iraq, was subjected to cowardly sabotage by armed groups. This act resulted in a complete disruption of internet services for more than 40,000 users across vast areas east of the canal in Baghdad.
Armed groups targeted 16 cabins and a set of optical cables in various areas, including Al-Baladiyat and Al-Amin districts, at dawn today. This led to a total internet blackout for over 40,000 users, including government and private entities in extensive areas of east Baghdad.
EarthLink strongly condemns this attack by sabotage groups on the infrastructure, representing the backbone of the internet in Iraq. At a critical time when the Iraqi government is undertaking a significant digital transformation, crucial to the region, EarthLink emphasizes the need for a strong and stable infrastructure capable of securing communications in the country. The company calls on the Minister of Interior and the leaders of the security forces to provide protection for maintenance teams to repair the damages and restore services to subscribers.
While the company collaborates with the Ministry of Communications and the Media and Communications Commission to enhance the infrastructure of the communication and internet sector in the country, this deliberate targeting of the sector and the infrastructure crucial to the nation appears to be a large-scale terrorist plot aiming to hinder technological advancements, particularly in the telecommunications and internet sector.
It is worth noting that this terrorist targeting is not the first, as the infrastructure of National Internet Services from EarthLink has previously been subjected to similar acts in various provinces. While EarthLink takes responsibility for repairing the damages as quickly as possible and ensuring the restoration of services to all subscribers, it urges the security forces to urgently investigate the attack. Those responsible should be handed over to the Iraqi judiciary to face fair consequences.
Terrorist groups continue to prevent EarthLink’s National Internet maintenance teams and teams from the Ministry of Communications from repairing the damages caused by sabotage operations and restoring services to citizens.