Sri Lanka town under curfew after religious violence

File photo of Sri Lankan soldiers patrol along a street during a curfew in Colombo on April 22, 2019. (AFP)

A city near Sri Lanka’s capital was placed under curfew by police Sunday, following clashes between Muslim and Christian mobs two weeks after suicide bombings left 257 people dead.

A senior police officer said the restrictions were imposed to prevent an escalation of violence after attacks occurred in Negombo - north of Colombo - where over 100 people died in a church bombing.

“About two motorcycles and a three-wheel taxi had been damaged in the clashes,” the police officer told AFP.

“We declared a curfew till 7.00 am (0130 GMT) to contain the unrest,” he added.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The country’s main international airport is located in the area, but police said there was no disruption to airport traffic.

The officer said an investigation was underway into the clashes, the first violence between Muslims and Christians since the Easter Sunday attacks targeting three churches and three luxury hotels in the country.

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The government has blamed the suicide attacks on a local extremist group which pledged allegiance to ISIS extremist group.

The country has been under a state of emergency since the attacks.

Security forces and the police have been give sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:59 - GMT 06:59
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