The telecommunications ministry of the Central African Republic (CAR) has banned SMSs, saying they constitute a security threat, according to a report.

The ministry has suspended SMS services across the country, with attempts at sending an SMS message prompting the reply “SMS not allowed”, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“The use of any SMS by all mobile phone subscribers is suspended from Monday, June 2, 2014, until further notice,” the ministry told mobile phone operators in a letter.

It is said CAR prime minister Andre Nzapayeke made the decision to ban SMSs following a spike in violence and protests in the capital Bangui over the past week, with further calls to strike apparently being organised via text message.

The AFP reports the ban is expected to last for “several days”.

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