Mon 04 October 2021:
In a surprise move, Twitter has restricted the account of the Taliban’s longstanding spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, on Sunday night.
On opening his Twitter profile, the social media giant provided the following message, “Caution: This account is temporarily restricted. You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account. Do you still want to view it?”
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid’s latest tweet, posted at 5 pm on Sunday was about the bomb blast that rocked a gathering of civilians at a mosque in Kabul the same day.
Before that, he had tweeted photographs with the caption that representatives of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were distributing essentials to displaced people in Panjshir province.
Twenty people were wounded in the bombing, the BBC Pashto service reported.
Saeed Khosti, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in the interim Taliban government, said three people have been arrested in connection with the attack.
The move has triggered mixed reactions among Afghans.
Supporters and members of the Taliban have dubbed it a slap in the face of freedom of speech.
“Freedom of speech advocates and ‘false’ claimants must now remain committed to their words, their actions and words are as different as heaven and earth,” tweeted one of his supporters, using the hashtag #Unblock_zabehullah_m33.
Others, welcoming the move, presented their own arguments in similar ways through tweets.
Taliban’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who appeared before the media for the first time in a decade at a press conference after the group seized Kabul last month, was born in the Gardez district of Paktia province sometime in 1978.
He specialised in Islamic jurisprudence from the Haqqania seminary in northwest Pakistan. He operated in the shadows for years in the period when US forces were stationed in Afghanistan.
He now serves as the Taliban’s official spokesperson and has made several statements about Taliban rule in Afghanistan since the group seized power. He has also been actively using the social media platform of Twitter to make official statements on behalf of the Taliban.
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