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Vodafone confirms Egypt lock-down

Just obeying orders...

By John Oates, 28 Jan 2011

Vodafone has confirmed it has shut down mobile services in Egypt on instructions from the government, which is trying to quell increasingly angry protests.

The mobile giant said: "All mobile operators in Egypt have been instructed to suspend services in selected areas. Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it. The Egyptian authorities will be clarifying the situation in due course."

Vodafone's Egyptian website, along with most of the others in the country, is currently unavailable. Virtually all internet access was cut off late last night.

The Egyptian government is hoping that restricting communications will help stop angry demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak.

Al-Jazeera reported that police were firing tear gas at demonstrators in Alexandria as they left mosques after Friday morning prayers. Who needs Twitter when everyone's at the mosque.

There are also clashes in Cairo and Suez. Protesters are leaving prayers and chanting, "Down, down, Hosni Mubarak," Reuters reports. ®