Popular social networking website Twitter has shut the English-language account of Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab insurgents, days after they posted photographs of a French commando they killed and threatened to execute Kenyan hostages.
A message from Twitter on the English-language @HSMPress account on Friday read that it had "been suspended", without elaborating, the Courier Mail reports.
However, Somali and Arabic language accounts of the al-Shabab continue to operate, and the extremists used their Arabic account to denounce the suspension as censorship.
The message read: "This is new evidence of the freedom of expression in the West."
On Wednesday the group used the account to release a link to a video of several Kenyan hostages they said they would execute within three weeks if Nairobi's government did not release prisoners held on terrorism charges, the paper said.
Earlier this month they posted graphic photographs of a French soldier killed during a failed bid to release a French agent they had held for more than three years. They later used Twitter to announce the hostage's execution, the paper added.
Twitter warns that accounts can be suspended if they violate its rules, which include the publishing of "direct, specific threats of violence against others", according to regulations posted on the social media website. (ANI)