China bans Urumqi mosque prayers

China ordered mosques not to open for Friday prayers in the western city of Urumqi, which has been hit by several days of ethnic violence.
Public notices were put on gates of mosques across the city, although at least one mosque did open for prayers at the request of worshippers.
Thousands of troops remain in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, to try to maintain order.
Thousands of people are reportedly trying to leave the city.
An official at the main bus station told the AFP news agency some 10,000 people - both Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs - had left via the station since the weekend's violence, double the normal traffic.
Some 156 people have died and more than 1,000 injured in the violence that began on Sunday.
Crowds gather
Officials posted notices outside Urumqi's mosques, instructing people to stay at home to worship on Friday.
The government is afraid that people will use religion to support the three forces

Tursun, Uighur

But at least one mosque in a Uighur neighbourhood opened its doors, after crowds of worshippers gathered outside.
The BBC's Quentin Sommerville said the mosque was opened without any violence and people were allowed to go in and celebrate Friday prayers.
However, other mosques in the city remain closed on what is the holiest day of the week in Islam.
'Al-Qaeda links'
The violence began on Sunday when Uighurs rallied to protest against a deadly brawl between Uighurs and Han several weeks ago in a toy factory in southern Guangdong province.
Officials say 156 people - mostly Han - died in Sunday's violence.
Ethnic Han vigilante groups have been threatening to take revenge, leaving many Uighurs afraid to leave their homes.
The atmosphere remains tense, with troops in place across city and armed police surrounding Uighur neighbourhoods, says our correspondent.
More than 1,400 people are thought to have been detained.
On Thursday, China said it had "a great deal of evidence" that some of those involved in the violence had "training from foreign terrorist groups including al-Qaeda".
Foreign ministry official Qin Gang did not say what the evidence was, but said the groups were "inextricably linked with three vicious forces from abroad".
Beijing has also accused US-based Uighur leader-in-exile Rebiya Kadeer of organising the disorder. She has denied the allegations.
Tensions have been growing in Xinjiang for many years, as Han migrants have poured into the region, where the Uighur minority is concentrated.
Many Uighurs feel economic growth has bypassed them and complain of discrimination and diminished opportunities.