Chinese Muslims attend a prayer session to mark the start of Ramadan at the Niujie mosque in Beijing Saturday. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Government workers, teachers and members of the ruling Communist Party in China’s Muslim northwest have been prohibited from taking part in traditional fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Statements posted Wednesday on the websites of government agencies and schools in the Xinjiang region warned employees not to participate in fasting or religious activities for Ramadan, which began Saturday.

The website of a local party committee in the county of Zhaosu said party cadres at a forestry bureau there signed a pledge to “firmly resist fasting.”

China is in the midst of a security crackdown in Xinjiang following a series of attacks the government blames on Muslim extremists.

A grade school said on its website it would prevent teachers and students from fasting.

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