Sri Lanka: Nationwide curfew imposed after communal violence; weapons cache found buried in Wellawaya

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Monday announced a nationwide night curfew after anti-Muslim riots spread to various districts. Earlier today, the authorities had re-imposed a curfew on Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Bingiriya and Dummalasuriya towns in the northwestern region following communal tension in the area. However, it has now been extended across the island.
The Sri Lankan Police had to fire tear gas and warning shots in an attempt to disperse Christian-led rioters attacking mosques and Muslim-owned businesses earlier today. 
"Several shops have been attacked," a senior police officer told news agency AFP. "When mobs tried to attack mosques, we fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse them."
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Army and the police have found a cache of weapons and ammunition buried in Wellawaya town. As per the Daily Mirror, two shotguns, two repeater rifles, a locally-manufactured pistol, 75 M16 bullets, 14 knives, a sword, 592 shotgun shells, 342 bullets compatible with a T56 assault rifle, and a GPS machine were found near the road towards the Commando Training Camp in Kuda Oya, Uva.
Reports suggested that probe revealed that the land where the cache was found buried was leased to a man identified as Mohamed Abdul in 2014.
Besides confiscating the weapons and ammunition, the owner of the land and a watchman have also been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, the Special Task Force had on Sunday arrested a woman purportedly involved in extremist activities at Madatugama in Kekirawa. The STF added that an artillery shell, mortar shells, 49 empty shells of T56 assault rifle bullets, and a map likely of a hotel or a school were found from her possession.
Sri Lanka has been on edge since the suicide bombings on April 21 at three churches, three hotels, and two other locations which left 258 dead.
The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). Sri Lanka has also banned the NTJ and taken into custody more than 100 people in connection with the blasts.
Earlier today, the Sri Lankan government also re-imposed a ban on social media following anti-Muslim riots triggered by a Muslim shop owner’s Facebook post.



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