Residents in parts of Somalia under militant control say at least one cellular telephone company has shut down data services in response to a threat from al-Qaida-linked extremists.
Al-Shabab gave phone companies until Friday to close down data services over fears the U.S. can tap into data and target militants.
Liban Farah, a resident in an al-Shabab-controlled area, said militants started searching phones on Saturday to see if they are receiving data. Farah said offenders are being jailed.
Several residents who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisal attacks said Hormuud shut down its data service. It’s not clear if a second, smaller company did the same.
People can make calls and send text messages but cannot receive email or access the Internet.
Data is still available in government-held areas.