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North: Terrorists bomb MTN, Glo, Airtel base stations


Base Station

Telecoms services were on Wednesday disrupted in Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe and Kano states following the bombing of telecoms base stations by suspected terrorists.

Our correspondent gathered that base stations belonging to MTN, Globacom, Airtel might have been affected in the multiple attacks that jolted Borno, Bauchi, Yobe and Gombe states.

Experts, who described the attacks as detrimental to telecoms growth in the country, said they were suggestive of wilful damage by unscrupulous elements.

As a result, the quality of service in the affected states has taken a downturn as interconnection of telecoms infrastructure has become severely limited.

The Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, confirmed the development to our correspondent in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Quoting security sources, Reuters, however, reported that similar attacks also occurred in Kano and Maiduguri.

Adebayo said, “We have received reports about some telecoms sites being destroyed by some agents in some parts of northern Nigeria. The details are not clear yet, but we have been told that a number of operators’ sites were affected and they appear, from first view, as wilful damage to those infrastructure.

“We were told that some sites were bombed and they belong to different operators, which means that the act cut across many networks.”

Reuters further reported that one of its reporters saw 10 masts burnt to the ground in Maiduguri on Wednesday morning and local residents complained there was no mobile telephone reception.

In Kano, men on motorbikes reportedly destroyed MTN and Airtel mobile phone masts in the early hours of Wednesday, a policeman told Reuters, asking not to be named.

He said the Boko Haram sect was suspected to be behind the attack.

The Islamic sect had reportedly threatened recently to cause immense damage to telecoms operators’ facilities for allegedly providing information that had helped securities agencies tracked its members.

Analysts said the Wednesday attacks might be connected to the threat by the suspected terrorists.

Reuters also reported that sources close to the sect said Boko Haram members had in the past been concerned that they might be traced through mobile phones.

The Corporate Services Executive, MTN, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, who equally confirmed the attacks, said, “It is true because we received reports today (Wednesday) that telecommunications towers of major telecoms operators were being bombed. However, I cannot tell you, for now, how many of our base stations or other telecoms infrastructure were affected because information available to us is still scanty.”

Goodluck, however, said that security agencies had commenced investigation into the attacks and the extent of damage, adding that the result would be made available for accurate reporting.

Speaking in the same vein, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, MTN, Mrs. Funmilayo Omogbenigun, who earlier confirmed the situation to Reuters, said, “We confirm that like all the other major telcos, some of MTN installations in northern Nigeria have been damaged by unknown persons. All the relevant government security agencies have been informed and we are receiving their full cooperation.”

via Punch

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Posted by on Sep 6 2012. Filed under Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Headlines, Kano, State News, Yobe. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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