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Residents Of Daghestan Celebrate Prophet Muhammad

MAKHACHKALA -- Some 20 thousand people gathered in the capital of Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan -- Makhachkala, for Mevlid -- celebrations of Prophet Muhammad and his heritage.

The president of Daghestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, took part in the celebrations held in the Central Mosque in Makhachkala on January 23.

He said the event in Makhachkala "must become a decent response to provocative attempts by destructive forces to desecrate Islam and its holy symbols."

Representatives of Daghestani Muslims' Spiritual Directorate and local politicians condemned cartoons of Muhammad published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying they "insult the feelings of religious believers."

They also condemned the deadly attack against the Paris-based magazine by jihadists that left 12 people dead.

Young singers performed Nashids -- Islamic songs praising Muhammad.

Earlier this week, similar gatherings against Muhammad cartoons have been held in Russia's other North Caucasus regions -- Ingushetia and Chechnya, as well as in Georgia's mainly Chechen populated Pankisi Gorge and Kyrgyzstan.