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Iraqis, Afghans Mark Eid Al-Fitr Under Tight Security

3 November -- A three-day holiday began for many Muslims around the world today, as they mark the end of a month of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

In Iraq, Sunnis and some Shi'ia celebrated the first day of Eid al-Fitr, but the Muslim festival will begin tomorrow for most of the country's Shi'ia.

New roadblocks and concrete barriers were placed at key sites in the capital, Baghdad, in anticipation of increased attacks. No major violence has been reported.

The holiday also began in Central Asia, Russia, Turkey, and Afghanistan, where officials said many mosques are being guarded by police. Extra police posts and patrols have been set up in most key centers.

The head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin, called for ethnic tolerance at a ceremony held at Moscow's Grand Mosque.

(compiled from agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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