Yemen officials blame ‘maintenance’ for nationwide internet outage

Internet access across the war-torn nation of Yemen collapsed and stayed down for hours, with officials later blaming unannounced “maintenance work” for an outage that followed attacks by the country’s Houthi rebels on both Israel and the US.

The outage began early this morning and halted all traffic at YemenNet, the country’s main provider for about 10 million users which is now controlled by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis.

Both NetBlocks, a group tracking internet outages, and the internet services company CloudFlare reported the outage. Neither initially offered a cause for the collapse.

“Data shows that the issue has impacted connectivity at a national level as well,” CloudFlare said.

Several hours later, some service was restored, though access remained troubled.

In a statement to the Houthi-controlled SABA state news agency, Yemen’s Public Telecom Corp. blamed the outage on maintenance.

“Internet service will return after the completion of the maintenance work,” the statement quotes an unidentified official as saying.

The outage came after a series of recent drone and missile attacks by the Houthis targeting Israel. That includes a claimed strike Thursday targeting the Israeli port city of Eilat on the Red Sea. The Houthis also shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone this week with a surface-to-air missile, part of a wide series of attacks in the Mideast raising concerns about a regional war breaking out.

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