Wednesday, 21 August 2019 11:54 GMT
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Security surged in Sri Lanka as Muslims gather for Friday prayers




(MENAFN - NewsIn.Asia) Colombo, March 9 (newsin.asia) - Security was heightened throughout Sri Lanka on Friday, to maintain law and order after deadly anti Muslim clashes erupted in Kandy, in Central Sri Lanka earlier this week killing three and injuring several others.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said tight security remained in place for the fifth consecutive day in Kandy and security had also been deployed outside mosques throughout the island as Muslims gathered for Friday prayers.

Muslim members, including in capital Colombo, said they had been advised to go back home after prayers and remain indoors to maintain law and order.

Special police blocks had also been set up on roads entering Colombo to avoid any incidents.

So far, atleast 110 people have been arrested after deadly communal clashes broke out in Kandy on Sunday evening, damaging several shops, businesses, homes, temples and mosques.

Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the extent of damage was yet to be assessed.

Police said among those arrested was the main suspect who was arrested on Thursday morning along with nine others.

Police also held search operations in several areas in Kandy on Thursday night and said it had recovered more than 20 petrol bombs.

Following the key arrests, Jayasekara, addressing a Foreign Correspondent's forum in Colombo said the ‘worst was over'.

"What has happened is most unfortunate. Things are now under control by the armed forces and the worst is now over. We, as politicians have also been trying our best to control this," the Minister said.

He further said President Maithripala Sirisena declared a week long state of emergency on Tuesday to prevent violations from spreading to other areas.

Sirisena declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, the first since the country ended a 30 year civil war in May 2009.

In a nation wide address, he appealed for calm and peace and warned of 'stern action' against anyone spreading violence and rumors with the intention of provoking communal violence.

The latest clashes were triggered on Sunday evening after a 41-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by a group of people on Feb 22.

24 people have been arrested over the killing.

Last month, communal clashes erupted in Ampara, in Eastern Sri Lanka leaving at least five people injured.

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Security surged in Sri Lanka as Muslims gather for Friday prayers

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