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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Cockerel spared after 'crowing 'Allah''

A cockerel in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan has saved itself from the pot after crowing what its owner claimed was "Allah", the Arabic word for God.

The two-year-old rooster was set to be turned into chicken soup after its owner, Ibragim Ismatullayev, found it to be extremely aggressive.

However, Mr Ismatullayev has said that as he put the knife to the cockerel's neck, the bird "screamed" and, on hearing this, his five-year-old son said "dad, it's saying 'Allah, Allah'."

The sound of the cockerel was then recorded on a mobile phone, and its life was spared.

Firdevs Robinson, editor of the BBC's Central Asian service, said that stories of this sort quite frequently came out of Central Asia.

She told BBC World Service's Reporting Religion programme that a lion in Azerbaijan was said to have roared the word "Allah" every time the call to prayer was issued.

"People started queuing up outside the zoo, and it went on for a long while" she added.

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