“Local officials and religious leaders in southern Kyrgyzstan ritually sacrificed a sheep this week in the hope of stemming the persistent scourge of car accidents along the country’s highways.
“Their ceremony was only partly symbolic. An imam from the town of Toktogul, in the south of the country, said that as local administration officials handed out meat to passing drivers on the road from the capital, Bishkek, to the city of Osh, they pleaded with them to drive more carefully.
“’We gave meat to everybody that passed, explaining that the food was from God. We prayed so that everything would be well with these drivers and we urged them to pay attention on the road and to abide by the rules,’ the imam, Alipbai Boroshbayev, told EurasiaNet.org.”
Through October, 695 people died in car crashes in Kyrgyzstan, police said. In the same time period last year, 771 people were killed on the nation’s roads.