* Satellite phone company says jammed by Libya
* Still has 70 percent coverage in Libya
DUBAI, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co’s services are being jammed by Libya, the UAE-based firm’s chief executive said on Thursday, as a revolt continued against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“Unfortunately there is deliberate jamming by Libya ... which is illegal,” CEO Samer Halawi told Al Arabiya television.
“Jamming started on Feb. 17 and it continues today. Our equipment is reducing the effects of the jamming so that we have coverage in 70 percent of Libya,” Halawi said.
Based in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi, Thuraya provides satellite telephone and other services across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) is a main shareholder of the company.
Forces loyal to Gaddafi launched a fierce counter-attack on Thursday, fighting gun battles with rebels who have threatened the Libyan leader by seizing important towns close to the capital.
On Monday, Al Jazeera television said Libya’s intelligence agency was behind the powerful jamming that has disrupted the widely watched Arab satellite broadcaster’s signal across much of the Middle East and North Africa.
On Saturday, Arbor Networks, a U.S. company that monitors Internet traffic said Internet service had been cut off in Libya for a second consecutive day.