Shots were fired from inside the Sri Lankan prime minister's official residence Monday, as thousands of protesters breached the main gate and torched a parked truck, an AFP reporter said.
Police also fired tear gas to push back protesters retaliating against an attack on them earlier in the day by those loyal to the outgoing premier Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Police sources confirmed that shots were fired in the air to prevent the mob breaching the inner security ring of the residence where Rajapaksa, who resigned as premier earlier in the day, was still holed up with several loyalists.
Dozens of homes of top Rajapaksa loyalists were torched elsewhere in the curfew-bound country, which has been under a state of emergency since Friday.
The emergency order from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the outgoing premier’s younger brother, gave sweeping powers to the military as protests demanding the duo’s resignation escalated over the country’s worst-ever economic crisis.
Protestors and Sri Lankan religious leaders blamed the former prime minister for instigating the family’s supporters to attack unarmed protestors on Monday, sparking retaliatory attacks.