Riot-stricken Libya cuts off internet

21 Feb 2011

According to Reuters Africa, internet connectivity in Libya was cut off at 00.15am (GMT) on Saturday amid increasingly fierce protests against long-time leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Citing information from Massachusetts-based research company Arbor Networks, Reuters reports that Libya was disconnected abruptly shortly after midnight on Friday. Although partial connectivity was achieved later in the day, internet traffic ceased permanently at 21.55pm on Saturday. The situation mirrors recent events in Egypt, when the Egyptian authorities cut off internet service during a spate of rioting that culminated in toppling of President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power. Over the weekend, around one hundred Libyan protesters were killed in violent clashes with security forces, in what has been described as the worst incidence of unrest since Gaddafi first assumed power in 1969.