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MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. Some 160,000 Moscow Muslims have celebrated Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, a police spokesman said on Friday.
About 4,000 police officers were deployed in the capital for an event known in Russia as Uraza Bairam.
Alongside 18 mosques and prayer houses, 17 sites were organized in Moscow and neighboring towns for the faithful to hold mass prayers, Rushan Abbyasov, Moscow region Mufti, told TASS.
Worshippers arriving for services were required to show identification papers and pass through metal detectors, he said, adding "We do not overlook safety demands. We are afraid of provocations."
Followers gathered at the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, currently under reconstruction for scheduled completion in September.
"Our fathers and grandfathers have prayed at this mosque so many believers come here," said Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Russian Mufti Council.
Municipal authorities covered up advertising billboards and signs that could offend the feelings of Muslims near their mosques and prayer sites.