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Lanka police imposes nationwide curfew as communal violence spreads

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

The Sri Lankan authorities on Monday enforced a six-hour countrywide curfew as communal violence spreads to new areas in the island nation in the latest fallout from the Sunday suicide bombings, which killed nearly 260 people.

"The curfew has been imposed from 9 p.m. tonight to 4 a.m. tomorrow," a said.

said the troops have been instructed to deal very strictly with those who defy the curfew.

The will shoot on sight if anyone defy the order, he added.

Earlier in the day, the police reimposed a curfew, few hours after it was lifted, on four towns of Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya, and in the north western region till 4 a.m. tomorrow following a communal clash in the area.

It was later extended to the entire North Western Province as violence continued to spread.

also appealed for calm after the unrest broke out, especially in district targeting Muslims, and appealed to the public not to be swayed by false information.

"I appeal to all citizens to remain calm and not be swayed by false information. Security forces are working tirelessly to apprehend terrorists and ensure the security of the country, but each time there is civil unrest, we increase their burden and hamper ongoing investigations," he said.

The on Monday also reimposed a ban on following violent incidents between the minority Muslim and majority Sinhalese communities in the country.

The blockade of and comes a day after imposed curfew in the country's western coastal town of where a mob attacked a mosque and some shops owned by Muslims in a dispute that started on a post by a Muslim shop owner.

The violence is a new backlash from the attacks where nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others.

The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group (NTJ).

banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the blasts.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 21:11 IST