Egypt’s Internet cut off ahead of largest-yet day of protests

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, January 27, 2011 20:49 EDT
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CAIRO — Internet service was disrupted in Egypt early Friday as cell phone text messaging appeared to be down, hours before activists who used both to organize large anti-government protests planned further actions.

The interior ministry had said in a statement late Thursday it would take “decisive measures” against dissidents who planned protests after Friday noon prayers, saying the activists “sent messages to citizens to gather in a number of mosques in the provinces during Friday prayers.”

Tens of thousands protested around the country on Tuesday in the largest anti-government demonstrations in decades.

The protests continued on Wednesday and Thursday, killing five demonstrators and two policemen in clashes.

Mobile phone services went down on Tuesday in a downtown Cairo area where most of the protesters were gathered, and the social networking site Twitter said its services were also blocked that day.

In Cairo, internet users said they could not access the web, with some saying access was slow and intermittent, starting late Thursday. Text messaging was also unavailable.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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