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Arab unrest casts a shadow over Ramadan

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Arab unrest casts a shadow over Ramadan


The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun for this year and Saudi Arabia marked it by lighting up what it says is the world’s largest clock tower.

Traditionally the period during which Muslims fast in the daytime began when the new moon was sighted.

In the rebel held Libyan city of Misrata locals held prayers for their young fighters who continue to resist pro-Gaddafi forces.

In Kabul preparations for the meals taken after sunset have been going on for weeks. Local markets have become a hive of activity as Muslims buy dates, prayer beads and special food for Ramadan. With the recent surge in Taliban-led violence, many Afghan Muslims are praying for a month of respite from the killings.

In Baghdad the Iraqi authorities intensified security measures on the eve of the festival.

With uprisings and unrest gripping much of the Arab world, there are predictions that this year’s Ramadan will be one of the most tense in recent history.

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