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15 May 2019, 11:16 | Glen Norman
Sri Lanka blocks some social media platforms after violent incidents
Wickremesinghe said the unrest would hinder investigations into the April 21 attacks that targeted three Christian churches and three luxury hotels, killing 258 people and wounding almost 500. 'Security forces are assisting police who have been ordered to use maximum force to contain the violence'.
Mosques and Muslim-owned shops have been targeted but there were no reports of casualties.
Police said the curfew would be enforced until further notice in the country's North Western region, and until Tuesday morning in the rest of the nation.
She also said that the attacks did not emerge out of a vacuum and that there were clear signs that a backlash against Muslims was underway and the authorities could have acted on reports of threats earlier, potentially preventing much of the violence over recent days.
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Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the public not to believe rumours and warned that civil unrest will stretch the already thinly deployed security forces.
Rioting there, north of the capital Colombo, saw police fire bullets into the air to disperse mobs marauding through several towns.
The Chinese government has agreed to grant Rs 2.6 billion for Sri Lanka's defence sector while also donating 100 police jeeps worth Rs 1.5 billion, the President's Media Division said in a statement today (May 14). Homes and mosques were also vandalised by large groups of people armed with sticks and weapons.
Police have blamed two local Islamist groups for the Easter Sunday bombings. Most of the riots were apparently members of the country's Buddhist majority.
In this Sunday, May 12, 2019, photo, Sri Lankan soldiers stand guard at the entrance to Good Shepherd convent and the St. Benedict's college in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Security forces have detained dozens of people suspected of involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by the "Islamic State" terror group.
Internet service providers said they have been instructed by the telecoms regulator to block access to Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram in a bid to prevent the spread of messages inciting violence.
Sri Lankan software engineer Aadhil Ameez, a 24-year-old, has been tied to both the National Tawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and the Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) who perpetrated the attacks which killed over 250 people and injured hundreds more.
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But attendance has been extremely low, according to education authorities.
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