[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
The Positive Action Foundation Philippines, manned by HIV-positive staff, provides care to those who have no one else.
A former rebel's museum keeps alive memories of the July 26, 1953 veterans who launched Cuba's revolution.
A revolutionary new treatment is halving hospitalisation rates for severe asthma sufferers.
join our mailing list