Thousands of people rallied in the capital of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya to express support for the Muslim Rohingya minority in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
The September 4 demonstration in front of the large Heart of Chechnya Mosque in central Grozny was attended by Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, regional parliament speaker Magomed Daudov, and other officials as well as clerics.
Officials and Muslim clerics cited verses of the Koran, in Arabic and Chechen, calling on all Muslims to unite.
The demonstration was shown on state TV in Chechnya, where Kadyrov's tight control enables the government to stage large rallies.
The demonstrators chanted "God is great" and held posters with what appeared to photos of members of the Rohingya community taken from the Internet.
Hundreds of people held similar rallies on September 3 in front of Burma’s Embassy in Moscow and in Makhachkala -- the capital of Daghestan, which is adjacent to Chechnya.
Nearly 90,000 mostly Rohingya refugees have arrived in neighboring Bangladesh since violence erupted in Burma on August 25, according to the United Nations.
Refugees accuse Burmese security forces and Buddhist mobs of burning their villages. The government says the security forces are responding to an attack last month on police posts by Rohingya militants.