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Sri Lanka's northwestern province under curfew as one killed in riot

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

A Muslim man has been killed in northwestern as majority Sinhalese mobs set fire to shops and vehicles during communal violence broke out as a backlash from the Sunday attacks, a said Tuesday.

The government on Tuesday relaxed nationwide night curfew in all areas except the northwestern province where the Muslim man was killed by a mob on Monday, Rauff Hakeem, a and leader of the Muslim Congress, said Tuesday.

Police imposed the island wide curfew on Monday as anti-Muslim violence broke out in the northwestern province spread to other areas in the country as well.

Majority Sinhalese mobs set fire to Muslim-owned shops and vehicles. Homes and mosques were also vandalised by large groups of people armed with sticks and weapons.

The also reimposed a ban on following the violent clashes.

The recent violence is a fresh 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 258 people and injuring over 500 others.

Meanwhile, has issued a gazette notice banning three Islamic extremist organisations, including National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) that was blamed for the bombings.

The other two banned organisations are the Jama'athe Milla'athe Ibrahim(JMI) and the Willayath As Seylani.

In an address to the nation on Monday night, said the military has been asked to quell the anti-Muslim riot and urged public cooperation to the security forces to bring the situation under control.

In the wake of violence being reported in some areas, Chief warned anyone instigating violence and destroying property that the armed forces would not hesitate to use maximum force to stem any violence.

He said the armed forces will ensure that the country will not be getting back to a situation of violent activities and the violence in terms of radicalization and the terrorists.

Muslims account for 10 per cent of the population and are the second-largest minority after Hindus. Around seven per cent of Sri Lankans are Christians.

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

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 12:06 IST