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Telecom masts in continental Europe have been attacked in the wake of a bizarre conspiracy theory linking coronavirus to 5G communications technology.
Following a recent spate of attacks in the U.K., arson attempts on 5G infrastructure in continental Europe have also been reported. In an emailed statement, mobile industry groups GSMA and ETNO said that there have been 61 attacks in the U.K. and 80 cases of harassment against telecom maintenance workers.
There have also been 16 arson attacks in the Netherlands, as well as three incidents of harassment, the groups said. Ireland has seen three arson attacks, with one arson attack in Belgium, Italy, Cyprus and Sweden. Finland has had one suspected arson attack.
Officials across Europe have slammed the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory.
“We must stop disinformation linking 5G to COVID-19 from harming our critical communications networks and frontline engineers when we need them most,” said the GSMA and ETNO in the statement emailed to Fox News. “We can’t let baseless claims against 5G undermine public trust in the technology Europe will ultimately need to drive its economic recovery.
"Safety assurances from trusted authorities like the World Health Organization and the European Commission need to be communicated across communities. Knowledge is the ultimate weapon against false claims.”
Some celebrities have been in also been in the spotlight as the wild conspiracy theory swirled. Actor John Cusack, for example, reportedly tweeted and deleted a coronavirus conspiracy theory about the dangers of 5G networks.
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 3 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, at least 994,625 of which are in the U.S. The disease has accounted for at least 213,273 deaths around the world, including at least 55,253 people in the U.S.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers