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Mosques Reopen in China's Troubled Xinjiang Province བོད་སྐད།


Mosques in the western Chinese city of Urumqi reopened Friday for the traditional Muslim day of prayer, amid tight security imposed after deadly ethnic violence earlier this month.

China's official Xinhua news agency says all 433 mosques in Xinjiang's provincial capital were open Friday. Authorities closed the mosques last week in the wake of riots that left 192 people dead.

But some of the mosques, including the White Mosque in the main Muslim Uighur district, opened for prayer last week after hundreds of worshippers gathered outside their doors in defiance of security forces.

The unrest began on July 5, when a peaceful protest by Muslim Uighurs turned violent as demonstrators attacked the region's majority Han Chinese. Scores of Han Chinese carried out a wave of revenge attacks against the Uighurs in the following days.

The Uighurs, a mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people who make up nearly half of Xinjiang's 20 million population, have complained for years of being marginalized due to the influx of Han Chinese into the province.

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