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Muslims in NW China region begin annual pilgrimage to Mecca (4)

(Xinhua)

09:21, October 18, 2011

Muslims in Ningxia going for Mecca pilgrimage go through baggage check before boarding the charter flight at the airport in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Oct. 17, 2011. The first group of 332 Muslims in Ningxia going for pilgrimage in Mecca of Saudi Arabia left Yinchuan on a charter flight on Monday. About 13,800 Muslims in China, including 2,656 from Ningxia, will go to Mecca for pilgrimage this year. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)

Li said that religious authorities in Ningxia dispatched a 76-member team to offer different services for the the Muslims, including translation, accommodation, medical treatment, transportation and security.

China has more than 20 million Muslims, about half of which are from the Hui ethnic group. Chinese Muslims mainly live in the western provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Regions and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

More than 2.25 million Hui live in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, accounting for more than one-third of the total population of the region.

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