BEIJING (AP) — A county chief and three other officials have been dismissed over a stampede at a mosque in China’s northwest that left 14 people dead, official media said Thursday.
Sunday’s incident at the Beida mosque in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region was blamed on poor crowd control. Muslim believers had flocked to the mosque for a special flatbread being distributed to commemorate a revered local religious figure.
The mosque’s administrator has already been detained on suspicion of criminal negligence.
Those sacked included Xiji county head Ren Lixin, along with the county’s director of religious affairs, deputy police chief, and a township head, the Xinhua News Agency said.
China’s 1.6 million Hui Muslims are largely indistinguishable from the country’s Han majority, making them distinct from the Turkic Muslim Uighur ethnic group who inhabit the Xinjiang region further north.
While China’s officially atheistic ruling Communist Party has placed multiple restrictions on Uighur religious and cultural life, it has largely left the Hui to themselves.