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Afghanistan succumbs to killer virus hoax

Mobile message of death crosses border

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The killer mobile phone virus panic which last week gripped Pakistan had by Monday spread to Afghanistan, with rumours circulating that several people in Kabul had succumbed to the message of death over the weekend.

Pakistan's mobile operators were inundated with calls from concerned customers after they received a hoax message claiming a killer virus was being transmitted via their handsets. The operators duly issued a statement which read: "These rumours are completely baseless. They do not make any sense in technological terms."

Over the border, however, Kabul shop owner Ahmad Fawad persisted: "Don't answer any strange number because it contains a virus that will kill you."

Afghani officials were obliged to issue TV statements debunking the deadly rumour, Reuters reports. ®

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