Sri Lanka imposes curfew after rise in anti-Muslim attacks

Curfew in Sri Lanka after attack on mosques Facebook Whats App blocked to curb violence

Muslim political parties said at least one person died in the riots but the security officials have refused to confirm the death. "Security forces are assisting police who have been ordered to use maximum force to contain the violence". "They have burnt our mosques and smashed many shops owned by Muslims", a resident of Kottampitiya area told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Police said they fired in the air and used tear gas at several places to deter people attempting to attack mosques.

With communal violence reported in the capital, Colombo, and surrounding areas in the country's west and north-west, the Government has imposed a nationwide curfew and temporarily blocked social media and messaging apps.

Tensions have been high since Islamist militants attacked churches and hotels three weeks ago on Easter Sunday, killing more than 250 people.

In an address to the nation on Monday night, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said a countrywide curfew was declared to prevent unidentified groups orchestrating communal violence.

Muslims huddled in the mosque for safety and requested that police fire their guns in the air to disperse the mob, but police refused, saying that the mob wanted to inspect the mosque for weapons.

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Sri Lanka's government has introduced a curfew after a rise in anti-Muslim attacks a month on from the Colombo church bombings.

A state of emergency has been in place since the bombings - which the Islamic State group claims to have helped - and security forces have been given sweeping powers to detain suspects.

Earlier, Sri Lankan Civil Aviation Authority banned the use of drone and unmanned aircraft following the devastating terror attack on Easter Sunday.

There was glass everywhere at the Abrar mosque in the Muslim-majority town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight. "It is no heroism in attacking Muslims and damaging their property - true heroism is to control and overcome oneself", he said.

In Christian-majority Chilaw, people reportedly threw rocks at mosques and beat up a man after a shopkeeper wrote "Don't laugh more, 1 day u will cry" in a Facebook post that Christians deemed as a threat of a new attack.

But attendance has been extremely low, according to education authorities.

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