Xinjiang Muslims gear up for Friday prayers, but at home

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Urumqi (China), July 10 (ANI): Some mosques in Xinjiang's restive capital Urumqi were closed Friday, even as Muslims were being persuaded to attend their weekly congregational prayer at home following Sunday's deadly riot that killed at least 156 people.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, all five major mosques near the Southern Jiefang Road, the center of the Sunday violence, were closed on Friday morning.

Outside the Baida Mosque, an imam explained that the place had been closed "for safety considerations" and advised people to perform the ritual at home instead.

Some smaller mosques, however, remained open Friday morning and were seemingly prepared for the Friday prayer, known as Jumu'ah, the most important prayer for the Muslims.

"Mosques in some sensitive areas were closed at their immas' suggestion," said an official in charge of religious affairs with the Xinjiang regional government.

It is not immediately known how many mosques would remain open for the Friday prayer, the official said. (ANI)

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