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Somali government downplays al Shabaab internet threats

Somali government downplays al Shabaab internet threats.

Threats to Somali telecom companies to halt internet services should be ignored says a local government official.

Last week, militant group al Shabaab -- which is said to have links to al Qaeda -- released a statement warning telcos that they have to switch off internet services within 15 days or face untold ‘consequences’.

But Somalia’s minister of interior and national security, H.E. Abdikarim Hussein Guled, has told telecom firms in a public statement to brush off the threats.

“The Somali government strongly condemns such acts which show continued brutality and terrorist tactics of intimidation by trying to ban Somalis from using the internet,” the minister said.

“Our constitution guarantees freedom of expression and every citizen has the right to access information without fear,” he added.

The minister also cautioned Somalia media outlets not to carry what he termed ‘terrorist propaganda’.

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