Over two thirds of Syria's internet backbone has gone dark, as civil unrest reaches new heights in the country.
Internet monitoring firm Renesys has reported that the state telecommunications provider, SyriaTel, took 40 of 59 local networks off the global routing table at 6:35am local time. They included all 3G internet providers and non-state ISPs.
"The network prefixes that remain reachable include those belonging to the Syrian government, although many government web sites are slow to respond or down," said Renesys chief technology officer James Cowie.
"The Oil Ministry is up, for example, and Syrian Telecom's official page, but the Ministry of Education is down, as is the Damascus city government page, and the Syrian Customs web site."
The shutdown came as the country faced one of its biggest days of unrest for 'Children's Friday', a national day of protest with reportedly 50,000 to 100,000 people taking to the streets.
The day was organised after videos began circulating on YouTube of Hamza al-Khatiba, a teenager who may have been been killed by security services.
Shutting down online communications and mobile networks has become common in the so-called 'Arab Spring' uprisings that have rocked the Middle East.
The rebels have since managed to jury-rig the state telecoms system to restore services in occupied areas, using equipment brought in from outside.
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