(QHA) -

Several government departments in China's far western region of Xinjiang have banned Muslim staff from fasting during the month of Ramadan.

One department website said that civil servants cannot "take part in fasting and other religious activities".

The move comes amid tightened security in the region which has been hit by a growing number of violent attacks.

Authorities blame separatist Muslim Uighurs, but Uighur leaders deny they are behind the attacks.

Activists have accused Beijing of exaggerating the threat from Uighur separatists to justify a crackdown on the Uighurs' religious and cultural freedoms.

State-administered Bozhou Radio and TV University said on its website that the fasting ban applied to party members, teachers and young people.

QHA