Middle East

Bombings shut down telecoms operator Zain Iraq's network in Kirkuk

DUBAI: A spate of deadly bombings that struck Kirkuk in northern Iraq at the weekend has damaged and temporarily shut down telecoms operator Zain Iraq's network in the province, a company source told Reuters on Monday.

Three bombings that appeared to target Kurdish forces killed 18 people in the city of Kirkuk, 250km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, on Saturday.

These attacks also damaged part of Zain Iraq's network, the source said.

"There is a currently a network outage in the province of Kirkuk," a company source said. "Work is under way to restore services in that area."

Zain Iraq's network in Kurdistan also went down briefly due to the Kirkuk bombings, the source added, but services in the autonomous region have now been restored.

Zain Iraq is Iraq's No.1 mobile operator with a 49 percent share of subscribers, according to Kuwaiti parent Zain's most recent earnings release.

Rival Asiacell, a subsidiary of Qatar's Ooredoo , said its networks in Kirkuk province and Kurdistan had suffered a "minor impact - nothing of significance" in an emailed response to questions from Reuters.

Asiacell said it was unable to access some of its sites in those areas for maintenance and faced similar problems in Tikrit, Mosul and Anbar, with 25-30 percent of its 11.6 million subscribers "affected by the overall security situation".

The impact of this "will be seen in Q3 results", Asiacell added, but did not provide further details.

Orange affiliate Korek, Iraq's third mobile operator, did not respond to requests for comment.





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