16 November 2010, 11:37
Over 50,000 Muslims marking Eid al-Adha in Moscow
Moscow, November 16, Interfax - More than 50,000 Muslims have gathered outside Moscow's central mosque to celebrate the holiday Eid al-Adha.
"As of 9:30 a.m. Moscow time, around 55,000 Muslims gathered on the premises of Moscow's central mosque, located at 7 Vypolzov Lane, and on adjacent Durov, Shchepkin and Gilyarovsky Streets," a Moscow OMON riot police spokesman told Interfax.
The director of Moscow's police public order department, Alexander Blagov, has been appointed to oversee security measures during the Muslim holiday.
"A total of 1,800 police officers, including some 200 Moscow OMON servicemen, are patrolling the venue of the festivities," the spokesman said.
Police are also flanking the street leading from the Prospekt Mira metro station to the mosque in order to prevent a possible stampede, he said.
"Everything is quiet at the moment. The situation is under control. No incidents have been reported," the spokesman said.
All of the streets surrounding the mosque will remain closed to traffic during the festivities.