LONDON (AP) — Conspiracy theories linking new 5G mobile networks and the coronavirus pandemic are fueling arson attacks on cell towers in Europe.

Some 50 fires targeting cell towers and other equipment have been reported in Britain this month, and about 16 in the Netherlands.

Attacks were also reported in Ireland, Cyprus and Belgium.

Popular beliefs and conspiracy theories that wireless communications pose a threat have long been around.

But the global spread of the virus at the same time that countries were rolling out fifth generation wireless technology has seen some of those false narratives amplified.

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