TikTok in Somali

The social media apps TikTok and Telegram, as well as an online betting app, have been banned in Somalia, according to the authorities, who claimed that "terrorists" were using them to disseminate false information.

The action is being taken in advance of the military offensive's eagerly awaited second phase against Al-Shabab, the Islamist terrorist organisation that has been conducting an armed uprising against the Mogadishu government for more than 15 years.

Internet service providers were warned by the Ministry of Communications and Technology to comply with the prohibition by August 24 or risk further legal action.

"The minister of communication and technology has issued orders to business entities that offer Internet services to discontinue the TikTok, Telegram, and 1XBET betting applications, which terrorists and organisations that promote transgression use to disseminate graphic videos and photos and mislead society in an effort to hasten the war and eliminate the terrorists who have killed members of the Somali people."

Since August of last year, the army has been conducting an attack against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabab in central Somalia. The operation is being supported by African Union soldiers and US airstrikes.

Despite being expelled from Mogadishu's city in 2011, Al-Shabab rebels still hold swaths of the countryside and carry out deadly attacks on civilian, political, and military infrastructure.

The unstable Horn of Africa nation's president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has pledged to drive out jihadists, and he is soon to declare another stage of the attack against them in southern Somalia.

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