China to build mega mosque in Algeria

Algiers - Algeria signed a deal with a Chinese company on Tuesday for the construction of a vast new €1bn mosque in the capital that will be able to hold up to 120 000 worshippers.

Religious Affairs Minister Bouabdallah Ghlamallah declared that the Grand Mosque which will overlook the seafront in the east of Algiers would be a "one-of-a-kind".

"There will be nothing like it in the world - religiously, touristically and economically," he said after the deal was signed with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).

The mega mosque will sit on 20ha of land in the Mohammadia area of the capital, with its minaret soaring soaring 270m into the sky.

The house of worship will be able to 120 000 people and will also feature a library containing one million works and seating for 2 ,000, as well as a museum and a research centre.

"Work will start today [Tuesday] after the signing of the contract and should be completed in 42 months," the minister said.

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