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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Adha

MTMuslims gathering Tuesday outside a mosque on Ulitsa Khachituriana.
President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russia's large Muslim community on Tuesday on the occasion of the start of the Eid al-Adha feast, saying the holiday was a reminder of Islam's positive traditions and that cooperation was needed to combat extremism.

In a greeting distributed by the Kremlin, Putin spoke of the "eternal values of justice, goodness, charity and care for close ones" that lay at the foundations of Islam.

"This is especially important today, when the state and society are called upon to oppose jointly any manifestation of extremism, any attempts to distort the essence of Islam and use it for mercenary and aggressive goals," Putin said.

Police said they had stepped up patrols around mosques to maintain security during the holiday, Ekho Moskvy reported.

The radio station said police were also on the lookout for Muslims illegally slaughtering sheep on the street during the three-day holiday, which commemorates the prophet Abraham's offering of his son to God. Believers slaughter sheep and donate part of it to the needy.