[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Sri Lanka Buddhists attack Colombo mosque

Police impose curfew after mob attacks mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions.

Last Modified: 11 Aug 2013 06:42
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Sri Lankan police deployed commandos and imposed a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood after a Buddhist-led mob attacked a mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions, officials said.

Two police constables guarding the disputed mosque in Colombo's Grandpass area were among those wounded and hospitalised, Colombo National Hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa said on Saturday.

"They had been hit by stones and also had cut injuries from falling glass debris," Soysa told AFP news agency. "We have two constables and two Muslim men admitted following the attack."

Residents said temple bells summoned the faithful who went over to the neighbouring mosque and started pelting stones. Several homes in the area were also damaged, residents said.

Seventy percent of Sri Lanka's 20 million population follow Buddhism while Muslims are the second largest religious minority with just under 10 percent after Hindus who make up about 13 percent. Others are Christian.

Police sources said elite Special Task Force commandos were deployed to help maintain law and order following mob violence against the mosque.

Police said they had imposed a curfew until 7:00am Sunday (01:30 GMT) to disperse the large number of people still in the area.

A security official said Buddhists had objected to the new mosque which had been established to replace their older place of worship earmarked for demolition to make way for new construction.

"The Buddhist temple had objected to the relocation of the mosque and the troubles started during Saturday evening prayers of the mosque," the official said, asking not to be be named.

The latest attack came five months after an anti-Muslim campaign culminated in the torching of two Muslim-owned businesses just outside the capital.

279

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.