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BEIRUT: Internet services were disrupted in Lebanon Sunday because of diesel shortages, according to the state provider, adding another essential service to the list of casualties of the country’s snowballing economic crisis.

Imad Kreidieh, the head of state Internet provider Ogero, tweeted that starting early Sunday a major station in west Beirut, Al-Mazraa, would run out of diesel and go offline. The outage affected over 26,000 subscribers, including the country’s General Security operation rooms, he told Al-Jadeed TV.

By midday Sunday, a resident donated diesel, allowing the station to get back online, he said. Meanwhile, another neighborhood in east Beirut, Achrafieh, was out of diesel and operated on batteries.
“The situation is unbearable,” Kreidieh told the TV station.

Lebanese live with only few hours of state electricity a day and rely on a network of private generators that also depend on diesel fuel. This often leaves neighborhoods in total darkness for hours. Meanwhile, residents have to pay for multiple services, including hefty bills to generator operators, which change regularly as the crisis worsens.

Internet and telecom services already were expensive in Lebanon. In 2019, a tax imposed on WhatsApp services sparked nationwide protests that turned into a denunciation of the entire political elite.

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