SMS goes to war

15 Aug 2006

At press time, Israel's offensive against Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon was still ongoing. And as the conflict has unfolded, text messaging has been playing a key role for foreign nationals caught in the crossfire.
According to Swedish news site The Local, SMS was 'a major tool' for the Swedish government in coordinating the evacuation of Swedish nationals from Lebanon, widely regarded as one of the most orderly and timely evacuation efforts in the conflict. 'In the last week we have sent out five text messages to everyone in Lebanon who is registered with a Swedish mobile network,' said foreign ministry spokeswoman Nina Ersman.
The French embassy also utilized SMS to keep its citizens informed on the situation, sending as many as three or four updates per day, according to Australian daily The Age.
Oddly, even the Israeli Army has been doing its part, sending SMSs and recorded voice messages to warn residents in south Lebanon of impending attacks, reports Time magazine.

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