A United Nations
official has warned that some of the recent internet outages affecting the Middle East may have been the work of saboteurs.
A series of cable cuts earlier this month left large parts of the Middle East without proper internet access, hurting outsourced call centre operations in Egypt, India and Pakistan.
One outage has been traced to a dragging anchor cable, but others have yet to be explained.
"We do not want to pre-empt the results of ongoing investigations," Sami al-Murshed, UN head of development, told Agence France-Presse
"But we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago."
While it was initially thought that rogue shipping was responsible for the cable cuts, al-Murshed is not so sure.
"Some experts doubt the prevailing view that the cables were cut by accident, especially as the cables lie at great depths under the sea and are not passed over by ships," he said at a conference on cyber-crime in Qatar.