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Arson suspected in Manchester cable melt down

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Phones services in Manchester and parts of the North West have been disrupted following a suspected arson attack.

Police were called to two incidents in the early hours of this morning. In one incident in Salford, a fire started in a wheelie bin near a cable box damaged underground cables. Shortly afterwards, police attended a similar incident nearby, following reports of another fire.

In a third incident a control box for traffic lights had been set on fire causing the lights to malfunction.

Both BT and business-focused telco, Your Communications (formerly Norweb Communications) have been hit by the fires. Other operators are also understood to have been affected.

Gary Clarkson, operations director for Your Communications, described the fires as a "serious incident" and said engineers were working to fix the damaged cables. According to one unconfirmed report the fires may have been started deliberately as part of a malicious attack against a telco.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident. ®

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