Iraq blocks social media amid rising tension

Islamist militants have taken large parts of Iraq and have begun threatening to invade the capital Baghdad

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Iraq's communications ministry has ordered internet and mobile companies to block social media websites and applications, technicians from two major service providers said Friday, as Islamist militants prepare for a strike towards Baghdad.

The technicians said video-sharing site YouTube, social network site Facebook, micro-blogging site Twitter and communications applications WhatsApp and Viber were all affected, according to Agence France-Presse.

However, the communications ministry was not immediately reachable for comment.

The move appeared to be linked to a major militant offensive, spearheaded by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has overrun all of one province and chunks of three more since Monday.

Militants and their supporters have been active on sites including Twitter during the offensive.

Earlier, Al Arabiya’s Baghdad correspondent said that the Iraqi government had blocked Facebook, citing security concerns.

(With AFP)

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