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Curfew continues in Sri Lanka as incidents of communal violence rise

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Colombo, May 15: Sri Lanka Tuesday imposed a nationwide curfew for a second straight night and arrested several people after Sinhalese mob attacks on Muslim-owned shops, vehicles and mosques left one person dead, as communal violence worsened following the deadly Easter terror attacks.

Sri Lanka government enforced island-wide curfew on Monday but on Tuesday the curfew was relaxed in all areas except the northwestern province where the Muslim man was killed by the sword-wielding rioters and 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.On Tuesday evening, police announced another nationwide curfew for a second night to try and stop the violence, beginning at 9pm (local time). “An island-wide police curfew will be imposed from 9 pm today until 4 am tomorrow,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. The government also reimposed a ban on social media following the violent clashes. The government which blocked Facebook and WhatsApp on Tuesday extended the blockade to Twitter. The social media blockade is meant to prevent the spread of rumours and hate comments, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said. The recent violence is a fresh backlash from the Easter 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.

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