One dead in Sri Lanka anti-Muslim riots following Easter terror attack

One dead in Sri Lanka anti-Muslim riots following Easter terror attack

Sri Lankan troops in a northern town fired shots into the air and police imposed a curfew on Sunday (May 12) after mobs attacked a mosque, in renewed religious tensions in the wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks.

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

Sri Lanka has been on edge since the April 21 attacks on three hotels and three churches which left 258 dead.

Later on Sunday and early on Monday authorities arrested a group of men in the nearby Kurunegala district for allegedly attacking Muslim-owned businesses, a police source told Reuters.

Sri Lanka reimposed a ban on social media on Monday as religious tension flared up after an intimidating Facebook post triggered attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the worst unrest since Easter Sunday bombings which killed almost 260 people.

Hasmar had reportedly written, "1 day u will cry", which was interpreted as being a threat.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group, the National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ), for the bombings.

A Police Curfew has been imposed in until 6 am tomorrow in the police Division of Gampaha to bring a tense situation under control.

They said the security had been beefed up. Most targets were in Colombo. While the Muslim population of Sri Lanka is about seven percent, almost equal to the Christian population, authorities deported 200 foreign imams in the country this month for being in the country illegally after their visas expired, and another 600 people authorities believe could be terror threats are allegedly in the process of being expelled.

There have already been clashes between Christians and Muslims in Negombo, the town north of Colombo that was targeted by the suicide attackers.

On Twitter, Sri Lanka's leading mobile phone operator Dialog said it had also received instructions to block Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube until further notice.

The latest unrest came as Catholic churches resumed public Sunday masses for the first time since the bombings.

But attendance has been extremely low, according to education authorities. Private Catholic schools were to open on Tuesday, but many plan to stay closed until next week, parent groups said.

Muslims make up around 10 percent of Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka´s 21 million population and Christians about 7.6 percent.

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