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Muslims with large beards in China's Karamay banned on buses
Wednesday August 6, 2014 8:33 PM, Agencies

A city in China's mainly Muslim Xinjiang region has banned people with large beards from travelling on public buses, state media said.

Chinese Muslims

The move prompted outrage from an overseas rights group Wednesday.

Authorities in Karamay banned people wearing hijabs, niqabs, burkas, or clothing with the Islamic star and crescent symbol from taking local buses, the Karamay Daily reported.

The ban also covers "large beards", the paper said, adding: "Those who do not cooperate with inspection teams will be handled by police."

Xinjiang, a resource rich region which abuts central Asia, is the homeland of China's mostly Muslim Uighur minority and has been hit by a wave of clashes between locals and security forces which have killed hundreds in the past year.

Rights groups say restrictions on Uighurs' religious and cultural freedoms have stoked tensions.

Chinese state media said Sunday that nearly 100 people including 59 "terrorists" had been killed in an attack in Xinjiang last week.

The report came days after the government-appointed head of the largest mosque in China, in one of the region's oldest cities, Kashgar, was killed after leading morning prayers.

Authorities in Urumqi last month banned bus passengers from carrying a range of items including cigarette lighters and yogurt, state media said.



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