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Bishkek Agrees To New Mosque

(RFE/RL) June 28, 2006 -- A group known as the Jamaat of Muslims says it has decided to call off a protest rally planned to be held in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on June 30.

The demonstration was meant to force authorities to speed up the allocation of a plot of land for the construction of an Islamic cultural center and an Arab-funded mosque in Bishkek.

The group's leaders, Taalay Ylaev and Myktybek Arstan, said the Bishkek city administration has now agreed to allocate 6 hectares of land for the new buildings.

Arstan said Qatar and Saudi Arabia had already pledged $14 million for the construction of the new mosque.

There are currently 26 mosques in Bishkek.

The largest can accommodate only 2,500 of the estimated 12,000 who turn up each week for Friday's prayers.

(AKIpress, Kabar)

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