No ships were present when two marine cables carrying much of the Middle East’s internet traffic were severed, Egypt’s Ministry of Communications said today, contradicting early reports about the cause of the outage. The statement deepened the mystery around the origin of Wednesday’s cable cut, which interrupted Internet and phone service to large parts of the Middle East and India. Initial reports suggested that an errant ship anchor had severed the two cables.
Bit investigators from the Egyptian government now say that’s not the case. “A marine transport committee investigated the traffic of ships in the area, 12 hours before and after the malfunction, where the cables are located to figure out the possibility of being cut by a passing vessel and found out there were no passing ships at that time,” said the statement. A third Mediterranean cable cut on Friday has raised questions about whether these incidents were a coincidence.