File Photo: Tracey Adams

Johannesburg - MTN has dismissed reports that its staff members in Nigeria were killed during attacks on its telecommunications infrastructure.

“No MTN staff were killed. We are at a loss as to the source of this highly erroneous information,” spokesman Rich Mkhondo said on Tuesday.

He said damage to telecommunications facilities was confined to certain parts of northern Nigeria, and that customers only in those parts might have experienced service disruptions.

MTN had received several enquiries about MTN staff supposedly killed.

Last week, a radical Islamist sect which has attacked mosques, churches, schools and government buildings at will in Nigeria, damaged more than 30 towers operated by all major providers in the country.

While no one claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Islamist sect known as Boko Haram threatened mobile phone companies six months ago, warning that they would be targeted for co-operating with the government to flush out its members.

MTN said its customers in Nigeria could experience network failure as a result of the attacks.

Mkhondo said MTN Nigeria had the full co-operation of the country's security and intelligence agencies, and a joint task force in various northern states was providing security for all telecommunications infrastructure until further notice.

Nigeria has 25.1 percent of MTN's 171 million subscribers globally.

Boko Harem (which means “Western education is sinful”) is an militant Islamist movement which strongly opposes man-made laws and modern science. - Sapa