BISHKEK. Kyrgyz Muslim community officials are denying yesterday's reports by some agencies that a Kyrgyz woman was killed in a car accident in Saudi Arabia. Kyrgyz Mufti, Murataaly Juman-uulu told RFE/RL today from Bishkek that nobody was hurt at the accident. The Mufti's deputy, Nigmatulla Ajy Jeenbekov, told RFE/RL today from Mecca that a micro-bus carrying Kyrgyz pilgrims from the Osh region was hit by another car on February 3, 2003. He also confirmed that nobody was killed or severely hurt during the accident. The people involved in the accident are now on their way to Mecca after receiving first-aid medical treatment on the spot. They will attend the regular ceremonies in Mecca, Jeenbekov said.
Answering RFE/RL questions, Jeenbekov said in case of the start of a war against Iraq, Kyrgyz pilgrims will come back via Turkey. They did not use the Iraq rout for the buses this year, Jeenbekov told.
Kyrgyz journalist, Sultan Abdrakhman, told RFE/RL today from Mecca, that about 23,100 Saudis are serving the pilgrims from over the world. About 60 TV and Radio companies are covering the Id al-Adkha and Pilgrimage issues in different languages of the world.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Charles Carlson in Prague