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Yemen’s internet service returns after four-day outage following air strike

ADEN, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Internet services were largely restored in Yemen on Tuesday, residents said, after a four-day outage following Saudi-led coalition air strikes which damaged telecoms infrastructure.

The Iran-aligned Houthi group’s communications ministry said services had returned to all provinces after initial repairs.

“To all friends and loved ones: We missed you,” the Houthis’ deputy foreign minister, Hussein al-Ezzi, said on Twitter, praising efforts to repair the damage.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said at 2200 GMT on Monday that services were starting to be restored.

Seven years of conflict have divided Yemen between an internationally recognized government based in the southern city of Aden, and the Houthi group that largely controls the north.

The coalition said its strikes on Friday were aimed at Houthi military capabilities in the Red Sea city of Hodeidah, the main landing point for the country’s undersea web connections.

The outage hindered money transfers by Yemenis outside the country. The war and ensuing economic collapse has pushed millions into poverty and parts of Yemen to the brink of famine.

The communications ministry statement, carried by the Houthi-run Saba news agency, called on the United Nations to send equipment to ensure the service returns to full capacity.

Reporting by Reyam Mokhashef and Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous and Lisa Barrington; Editing by Robert Birsel and Andrew Heavens

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