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Senegal Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha amid virus worries

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JOHN WESSELS/AFP or licensors -


Muslims in Senegal's capital Dakar flocked the Massalikoul Djinane mosque in Dakar, the largest in West Africa for Eid al-Adha prayers on Tuesday.

Volunteers gave disinfectant to worshippers outside the mosque, as authorities warned against gatherings.

The West African country has witnessed a surge in Covid cases in recent weeks.

"The safety protocols were in place, there was a queue to enter the mosque, we have observed distancing as much as we can. There is not a single person in the mosque who did not have his mask or his hand sanitizer. The rest we leave in the hands of God," said Mbakyou Faye, director of the Massalikoul Djinane mosque.

This year's feast of sacrifice was fundamentally different from that Muslim faithful in the country have celebrated before. Many mosques remained closed as people prayed at home.

Authorities also discouraged travel and open-air festivities.

"I had thought that there would not be such a large gathering, but since it is like that we have no choice, we just have to wear masks and respect the barrier measures," said Marleyatou Diallo, a student. 

As is tradition, faithful slaughtered animals as a sign of sacrifice.

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