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Kerry visits largest mosque in Southeast Asia

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Southeast Asia's largest mosque during his visit to Indonesia Sunday, paying tribute to Islam in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. After removing his shoes outside the Istiqlal mosque in the heart of Jakarta, Kerry walked through the vast building accompanied by grand imam Kyai al-Hajj Ali Mustafa Yaqub. Calling it an "extraordinary place", the top US diplomat told Indonesian reporters: "I am very privileged to be here and I am grateful to the grand imam for allowing me to come."

Angola denies banning Islam after outcry

Angola's government on Tuesday denied it had banned Islam and closed mosques in the country, after speculation that sparked outrage among Muslims worldwide. "There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion," said Manuel Fernando, director of the National Institute for Religious Affairs, part of the ministry of culture. "There is no official position that targets the destruction or closure of places of worship, whichever they are," Fernando told AFP.

Ukranian jailed for 40 years for British mosque bombs, murder

A Ukranian student was jailed for a minimum of 40 years by a British court Friday for murdering a Muslim grandfather and planting bombs near three mosques as part of what police called a racist terror campaign. Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, had pleaded guilty on Monday to stabbing 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem to death as he walked home from a mosque in the central English city of Birmingham in April. Lapshyn, a postgraduate student from the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk, also admitted plotting to cause explosions at mosques in three towns in central England.

Toll in Iraq mosque attack rises to 30 dead

Twin bombings against a joint Sunni-Shiite prayer session at a mosque north of Baghdad on Friday killed 30 people and wounded 24 others, officials said, updating an earlier toll. The blasts at the Al-Salam mosque in Baquba, 60 kilometres (35 miles) from the capital, struck as worshippers were leaving following midday prayers, according to an army major and Ahmed al-Azzawi, a doctor at the city's main hospital. bur-psr/bpz

French Muslims fear surge in attacks by far-right militants

PARIS (Reuters) - Muslim leaders in the French city of Lyon said on Monday they feared a surge in attacks on mosques in the style of one averted last week in which a soldier was arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting during an Islamic feast holiday. Anti-Muslim incidents have risen steadily in recent years in France, home to Europe's largest Islamic minority, according to the Committee against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), which blames anti-Muslim rhetoric by far-right politicians.

Assault on mosque revives Sri Lanka religious tensions

Sri Lankan police deployed commandos and imposed a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood Saturday after a Buddhist-led mob attacked a mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions, officials said.

Bombs against Iraq Sunni mosques kill nine

Bombs targeting worshippers gathered for evening prayers at three Sunni mosques in Iraq killed nine people on Tuesday, officials said. A bomb exploded in the Omar bin Abdulaziz Mosqe in the northern city of Kiruk, while another blast struck near Al-Salihin Mosque close by, killing a total of seven people and wounding 41. And a car bomb exploded near Al-Imam Ali Mosque in Kut, southeast of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding nine. Special extended evening prayers are held during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began two weeks ago.

Bombs against Iraq Sunni mosques kill 12

Bombs targeting worshippers gathered for evening prayers at four Sunni mosques in Iraq killed 12 people on Tuesday, officials said. A bomb exploded in the Omar bin Abdulaziz Mosqe in the northern city of Kiruk, while another blast struck near Al-Salihin Mosque close by, killing a total of seven people and wounding 31. Two bombs exploded near Ahmed al-Mukhtar Mosque in the Dura area of south Baghdad, killing at least three people and wounding at least nine.

Morsi supporters protest in Kabul after Friday prayers

More than 200 Afghans staged a noisy protest in Kabul on Friday in support of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, whose Islamist regime was thrown from power after mass demonstrations and army intervention. The protesters took to the streets of the Afghan capital after Friday prayers, chanting pro-Morsi slogans, waving a large Egyptian flag and demanding the president's reinstatement.

Bombs at Sunni mosques in Baghdad area kill four

Bombs exploded at four Sunni mosques in and around Baghdad on Friday, killing four people and wounding 50, an interior ministry official and medics said. The bombers struck after the main weekly prayers as four days of violence that have killed more than 190 people raised fears of a return to all-out sectarian conflict. sf/wd/kir
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