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Red Sea cables have been damaged, disrupting global internet traffic

London CNN  —  Damage to undersea cables in the Red Sea is disrupting global telecommunications networks and forcing internet providers to reroute as much as a quarter of traffic between Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Cables belonging to four major telecoms networks have been “cut” causing “significant” disruption to communications networks in the Middle East, according to Hong Kong telecoms company HGC Global Communications. HGC estimates that 25% of traffic between Asia and Europe as well the Middle East has been impacted, it said in a statement Monday. The company said it is rerouting traffic to minimize disruption for customers and also “extending assistance to affected businesses.” HGC did not say how the cables had been damaged or who was responsible. The destruction comes weeks after the official Yemeni government warned of the possibility of an attack on the cables by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who have already disrupted global supply chains by attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Reports last week from Israeli news outlet Globes suggested the Houthis had been behind the damage to the cables. Yemeni rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi denied the allegations. “We have no intention of targeting sea cables providing internet to countries in the region,” he said. Among the networks affected is the Europe India Gateway, spanning 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) between Europe, the Middle East and India. Asia-Africa-Europe, a 25,000-kilometer cable system connecting South East Asia to Europe via Egypt, has also been damaged.