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Friday, July 10, 2009

Muslims in China: No Praying

Chinese authorities banned prayer gatherings at mosques here on Friday, the principal day of prayer for Muslims, as security officials tried to prevent further ethnic violence in the Xinjiang region.

But local officials appeared to partly relax the ban on Friday afternoon, allowing shortened prayer services after hundreds of Uighur worshipers gathered outside at least two of Urumqi’s main mosques and pressed to be allowed inside, news agencies reported.

The security clampdown that followed Sunday’s deadly riots remained tight. A small group of about 40 Uighur men and women began a protest march after prayers ended Friday, but they were quickly blocked by police forces, The Associated Press reported. Officials later announced a curfew would be reimposed on the city Friday evening. The city’s main bus station was filled with people trying to flee the unrest, news services said.

Meanwhile, in another large Xinjiang city, the ancient Silk Road oasis town of Kashgar, foreign journalists and other visitors were instructed to leave.

link: China Bans Mosque Meetings in Strife-Torn Region -


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