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Field mice knock out phone network

5/31/2006

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Hungry field mice caused a 20-hour telephone blackout in central Sweden Tuesday by gnawing through cables, telecom operator TeliaSonera said.

Fixed-line phone connections for more than 1,500 homes in Jamtland and Medelpad in central Sweden, were severed late on Monday by hungry rodents chewing their way through a fiber-optic cable near the town of Ange. Mobile phones were also cut off.

"This is not at all common," said Hans Borjesson, a technician at TeliaSoneria.

Thousands of homes in Sweden have already been without phones and electricity for weeks as the result of a heavy storm in early January that killed seven people.