Via Dawn:

Al Shabaab on Friday said its Christian enemies had closed its Twitter account, which the Somali militant group used to parade hostages, mock rivals and claim responsibility for bombings and assassinations.

The group’s official Twitter account, which has thousands of followers, was offline on Friday with a message saying “Sorry, that user is suspended”.

It was not immediately clear why the account, which was created in 2011 under the HSM PRESS Twitter handle, was suspended. The account was still unavailable as of 1233 GMT.

On Wednesday the al Qaeda-aligned rebels used the social media site to threaten to kill several Kenyan hostages and on Jan 17 announced the execution of a captive French agent after a French commando mission to rescue him failed.

“The enemies have shut down our Twitter account,” al Shabaab’s most senior media officer, who refused to be named, told Reuters.

“They shut it down because our account overpowered all the Christians’ mass media and they could not tolerate the grief and the failure of the Christians we always displayed (online).”