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Crimea Leadership Announces Day Off For Eid al-Adha


The Russian authorities are making the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha an official day off in Crimea for the first time.

The acting head of the region annexed by Russia in March, Sergei Aksyonov, signed a decree on October 1 saying that October 6 will be a day off as Eid al-Adha, known as Kurban Bairam among Turkic speaking Muslims, falls on October 4 this year.

The decree may be aimed to please Muslim Crimean Tatars, who make up more than 12 percent of Crimea's population.

Eid al-Adha was not an official holiday in Crimea under Ukrainian rule, and some Crimean Tatars accused the government in Kyiv of ignoring the minority group's interests.

Most Crimean Tatars opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and boycotted elections last month.

The authorities have piled pressure on Crimean Tatars, seizing their assembly building and searched homes of leading members of the community.

Two leaders of Crimean Tatar community have been barred from the peninsula.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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