Internet Access Partially Restored in Sudan after Web Blackout

Outages persist throughout the country as the capital, Khartoum, erupts in riots

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Updated: 3:03 p.m.

Internet access was cut off across Sudan Wednesday morning just as riots erupted over the end of fuel subsidies, the Washington Post reports, but had been restored by Wednesday afternoon.

Experts said the government might be to blame. Previous Web outages in the country appear to have been primarily technical in nature, stemming from isolated problems. The fact that this outage has “involved multiple distinct Internet service providers at the same time is consistent with a centrally coordinated action,” an Internet intelligence analyst told the Post.

A spokesman for the Sudanese embassy in Washington blamed the riots in  Khartoum, the capital, for the outage. “The rioters targeted Canar [a Sudanese telecom firm], gas stations and malls and they burned lots of places and this is one of the places,” the spokesman told TIME. “This company is the core place of the Internet.”

This article has been updated to reflect restoration of Internet access and comment from the Sudanese embassy.

[The Washington Post]