HW English

Lanka police reimposes curfew on 4 towns in north western region following communal violence

Colombo | The Sri Lankan authorities on Monday reimposed a curfew, few hours after it was lifted, on four towns in the north western region following a communal violence in the area.

“Curfew was lifted at 6 a.m. this morning from Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Bingiriya and Dummalasuriya towns,” a police official said.

“However, following a communal clash in the afternoon at Hettipola, the curfew was re-imposed with immediate effect till 4 a.m. tomorrow on the area and its neighbouring towns of Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya and Dummalasuriya,” the official added.

Earlier in the the morning, the Lankan government also reimposed a ban on social media following violent incidents between the minority Muslim and majority Sinhalese communities in the country.

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

The violence is a direct fallout of the April 21 suicide bombings 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 National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ).

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

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