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Saudi Arabia suspends BlackBerry services

Veiled Saudi women talk on their BlackBerry phones at a shopping mall in Riyadh Reuters

Saudi Arabia suspended BlackBerry messaging services on Friday as concerns spread across the Middle East and parts of Asia over security issues.

BlackBerry subscribers in Saudi Arabia said they were no longer able to use the messaging services from around midday local time.

The Saudi telecommunications authority announced on Tuesday that it ordered the country's three mobile phone providers to block the services or face a 1.3 million dollar fine.

The Saudi shutdown came five days after the UAE announced it would cut off the messenger, email and web browsing services of BlackBerrys in the Gulf state on 11 October over security concerns.