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Cyberattack leaves millions without mobile phone service in Venezuela

CARACAS, Aug 11, 2017 (BSS/AFP) - A massive cyberattack that took down government websites in Venezuela earlier this week also has left seven million mobile phone users without service, the government said Thursday.

A group that calls itself The Binary Guardians claimed responsibility for attacks that targeted the websites of the government, the supreme court and the National Assembly.

"These terrorist actions which affected the Movilnet's GSM platform on Wednesday left without communication seven of the state operator's 13 million users," Science and Technology Minister Hugbel Roa said.

Venezuela has two other private mobile phone operators: Spanish-owned Movistar and Digitel.

Roa said the outage was part of a wave of attacks that began Monday when dozens of government and private company websites were hacked.

Roa said there also have been nine cuts in the country's fiber optic network, which has cut off already precarious internet service to seven states.

"The attacks were carried out with the help of foreign agents, trying once again to disrupt our country's connectivity," Roa said, adding that an investigation was underway.