Sri Lanka army investigates video of apparent anti-Muslim attack

Sri Lanka bans social media services once again as tensions arise due to Facebook post

A second overnight curfew imposed nationwide ensured there was no repeat of Monday´s violence against Muslims, who make up some 10 percent of Sri Lanka´s population of 21 million.

"The navigation of any unmanned aircraft or drone in or over the territory of Sri Lanka by any person other than a member of Triforces or police is prohibited until further notice", another Gazette notification said.

Residents in the North-Western Province were ordered to stay indoors after Christian-led mobs torched dozens of Muslim-owned shops, vehicles and mosques on Sunday and Monday.

"There are hundreds of rioters, police and the army are just watching".

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since a string of bombings at three hotels and three churches killed more than 250 people in mid-April.

The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ).

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also appealed for calm after the unrest broke out, especially in Kurunegala district targeting Muslims, and appealed to the public not to be swayed by false information.

A source said another IS suspect, Mohammad Naser, deported from Sudan in 2015 was also in online contact with Aadhil AX from Sri Lanka.

One man died after being admitted to hospital with stab wounds, an officer at Marawila hospital said.

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Among those detained was Amith Weerasinghe, a man from Sri Lanka´s majority Buddhist Sinhalese community and on bail for his role in similar riots in March past year in the central Kandy district.

This is third time in a month that the Sri Lanka government has banned social media services, all to control the spread of misinformation and rumors online.

Mr Wickremesinghe said he had given powers to the security forces to take strong action against those disturbing the peace.

A mosque official said the attacks were triggered when several people, including some Buddhist monks, demanded a search of the main building after soldiers had inspected a 105-acre (43-hectare) pond nearby.

Some said they had been forced to hide in fields to escape gangs carrying swords.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera on Tuesday rejected allegations that police had stood by while the violence unfolded and said the perpetrators could face up to 10 years in jail.

Video footage of the unrest showed burning shops as mobs armed with sticks and stones roamed the streets attacking Muslim-owned shops.

"Don't laugh more, 1 day u will cry", was posted as a comment on Facebook by a Muslim shopkeeper, and local Christians took it to be a warning of an impending attack.

The UN Special Advisers in a joint statement urged the Government, the opposition, civil society and the security sector, to work collaboratively to immediately stop hateful attacks against religious minorities in Sri Lanka.

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