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Xinjiang Muslims observe Jumah prayer


09:08, July 06, 2013

URUMQI, July 5 (Xinhua) -- As the bell chimed at 3:25 p.m. in the Heytgah Mosque in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, more than 10,000 Muslims began kneeling on the carpet in rows to pray.

The Muslims held the congregational prayer on the weekly Jumah Day, which falls every Friday.

Although a violent terrorist attack in the small township of Lukqun last week has cast a shadow over life here in the bustling city, the Jumah prayer was held in a peaceful and orderly manner in the largest mosque in Xinjiang.

On June 26, rioters attacked the government building and police station in Lukqun Township, Shanshan County, killing 24 people and injuring 21 others.

Slam Rozi, 82, is a devout Muslim who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. He came to the mosque early in the morning for the morning prayer.

"I come to the mosque to pray five times a day," Slam Rozi told a reporter at a teahouse. "After the morning prayer, I always come to this teahouse to have some tea."

Jumah was also observed in other cities and towns across Xinjiang, where nearly half of the population are ethnic Uygurs.

In Urumqi, the regional capital, businessman Abulimit closed down his store around 2 p.m. and rushed to a nearby mosque with a worship rug under his arm.

After the prayer that ended at 3 p.m., Abulimit hurried back to his store to look after his business.

July is a peak season for tourists from home and abroad. Abulimit said he has fared well with his small business thanks to the huge number of customers brought by the booming tourism industry.

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