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Muslims die in mosque stampede in central China

Death toll reaches 14 with 10 in hospital, says local official

Muslims die in mosque stampede in central China

Chinese students at a mosque in Ningxia (file picture: AFP Photo/Lilian Wu) reporter, Hong Kong

January 6, 2014

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Fourteen people were killed and 10 injured when food was being handed out at a mosque in central Ningxia province on Sunday lunchtime.

Children were among those who died at the event at Beida mosque in the town of Xiji where worshippers were taking part in a ceremony to commemorate the death of a Muslim leader, state media reported on Monday.

Ten people were rushed to hospital on Sunday but were expected to recover, said a local government spokesman.

“Three victims who were in critical condition yesterday have become stable while seven others are expected to be discharged in a few days,” said the official, Lu, who only gave his surname.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has instructed local officials to pay their condolences to the families of the victims, investigate the cause of the accident and ensure social stability in the area, according to Chinese state media.

Ningxia, home to the mostly Muslim Hui minority, is one of five regions classified as “autonomous” by the Communist Party government in Beijing.

The scene of a Muslim rebellion against imperial rule in the 19th century, Ningxia has been free of the instability witnessed in Xinjiang province further west where dozens of Muslims have died in rioting in recent years.

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