Nigeria lifts mobile phone blackout

The restoration of phone services was "in reaction to the improved security situation and to relax the environment and ease tensions," said military spokesman Chris Olukolade.

Nigeria lifts mobile phone blackout

World Bulletin / News Desk

Nigeria lifted a mobile phone blackout on stronghold of Maiduguri on Friday, saying there were signs of improving security after months of blasts and attacks.

Signals were cut in the remote northeastern town and surrounding states in May in a bid to disrupt the activities of the Boko Haram sect, whose insurgency has killed thousands of people in the past three years.

The restoration of phone services was "in reaction to the improved security situation and to relax the environment and ease tensions," said military spokesman Chris Olukolade.

The blackout has also hurt mobile phone companies including South Africa's MTN, Gulf operator Etisalatand India's Bharti Airtel who have millions of customers in the area.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states on May 14, ordering extra troops in to try to crush Boko Haram.

The phone networks went down the same week, but returned in Adamawa last week and in Yobe on Wednesday.

Nigerian forces say their offensive has enabled them to wrest back control of the remote northeast from Boko Haram. They say they have destroyed important bases and arrested hundreds of suspected insurgents.

Last Mod: 19 Temmuz 2013, 14:42
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