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Photograph: Photo by pgbsimon, used under CC0

Indonesia is seeking to block gay-friendly mobile applications, an official said Friday, adding to a series of measures targeting sexual and gender minorities in the country.

The Ministry of Communications and Information has requested that US technology giants Google and Apple block more than a dozen gay dating apps from their app stores for the Indonesian market, spokesman Noor Iza said.

Three of the apps - BoyAhoy, Grindr and Blued - have been singled out for an immediate ban, Iza said.

"For the time being we are prioritizing those three apps because those are the most obvious in their promotion of sexual deviance," he said.

On Friday the three apps were still accessible on the Google Play store and Apple's app store.

The move came after police arrested two people last month accused of using mobile apps to lure minors and connect them with "gay clients" to have sex.

Human rights groups have voiced concerns over growing hostilities against sexual and gender minorities following remarks by some officials denouncing homosexuals.

Anti-gay sentiment in the mainly Muslim country rose earlier this year after Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir banned university groups advocating for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

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