Local residents could only access the Internet on their mobile phones. They complained that the connection is slow and erratic.
The Karabakh Telecom operator said it stopped providing the service through its fixed-line network because of a cut in a fiber-optic cable running from Armenia through Azerbaijani-controlled territory. It did not comment on the cause of the disruption.
Citing iformation received from Karabakh Telecom, Armenia’s human rights ombudswoman said the cable was damaged in the Lachin Corridor that has been blocked by Azerbaijani protesters since December 12.
The Internet outage came three days after a high-voltage line transmitting electricity from Armenia to Karabakh was knocked down for still unknown reasons. According to the authorities in Stepanakert, the accident occurred near the Azerbaijani-controlled town of Lachin.
The authorities say that Baku is not allowing Karabakh specialists to visit the area and repair the transmission line. They suspect that the disruption, which resulted in power shortages in Karabakh, was an act of sabotage aimed at aggravating the effects of the Azerbaijani blockade.
Local residents grappled with rolling power cuts for the third consecutive day. The blackouts are especially challenging for residents of Stepanakert and other Karabakh towns who use electricity to heat their homes.
They have also been struggling with growing shortages of food, medicine and other essential products that were imported to Karabakh from or through Armenia. Earlier this week, the Karabakh government decided to ration some of these items to ensure their even distribution to the population.