Egyptian authorities forced Vodafone to broadcast government-scripted text messages during the protests that have rocked the country, the U.K.-based mobile company said on Thursday.

Micro-blogging site Twitter has been buzzing with screen grabs from Vodafone's Egyptian customers showing text messages sent over the course of the protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-old regime.

A text message received on Sunday by an Associated Press reporter in Egypt appealed to the country's “honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals and protect our people and honor”.

The sender is identified only as “Vodafone.”

Vodafone Group PLC said in a statement that the texts had been scripted by Egyptian authorities. The company said authorities had invoked emergency rules to draft the messages, whose content it said it had no ability to change.

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