Assault on mosque revives Sri Lanka religious tensions

COLOMBO, August 10, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police deployed commandos and imposed a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood Saturday after a Buddhist-led mob attacked a mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions, officials said. 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 7:00 am Sunday (0130 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. 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.

“They had been hit by stones