Fourteen people have been killed and 10 injured in a stampede during a gathering at a mosque in northwest China's Ningxia region, state media reports.

The stampede occurred around 1pm on Sunday while traditional food was being handed out to people attending an event to commemorate a late religious leader, Xinhua news agency said, citing the local government.

The injured were hospitalised with four in critical condition, the brief report said.

An investigation was under way into the cause of the stampede at the mosque in Xiji town, about 320km northwest of Xian.

Ningxia region is home to the Chinese-speaking Hui minority, who are mostly Muslim but distinct from the Uighurs of Xinjiang.

Source: AFP