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Tue, 21 Jan 2020 10:55 GMT

Sri Lanka Ends Curfew as Anti-Muslim Riots Brought 'Under Control'


7Dnews London

Thu, 16 May 2019 18:55 GMT

Sri Lankan authorities said on Thursday May 16th they had lifted the night curfew imposed for two straight days on violence-prone areas, following the anti-Muslim riots that left one man dead and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and mosques, AFP has reported.

A night curfew in North-Western Province (NWP), which has seen the worst of the anti-Muslim backlash after the Islamist suicide bombings on April 21st, was relaxed on Thursday morning.

"The situation is now totally under control," said military spokesman Sumith Atapattu.

"There were no incidents of violence overnight and we are arresting groups of people responsible for taking part in mob attacks."

Some 5,500 additional police were deployed in NWP to contain the violence that claimed the life of a Muslim man on Monday. Scores of private homes, Muslim-owned shops and businesses were destroyed, while several mosques were also vandalized in a revenge attacks against the Muslim minority, who make up some 10% of Sri Lanka's population of 21 million.

"We are carrying out search operations and have a large presence on the ground," Atapattu told AFP.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said 78 people arrested in NWP were remanded in custody on Wednesday, while the rest were detained after a manhunt in other areas.

Muslims in Sri Lanka have been targeted since three churches and three luxury hotels were bombed by local Islamist extremists on April 21st, killing 258 people.