Protestors clash over Fonseka outside Sri Lanka court

February 10, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police fired tear gas Wednesday as opposition and ruling party activists clashed outside Colombo’s main court complex over the arrest of defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. Witnesses said anti-riot squads moved in after ruling party supporters pelted stones at thousands of opposition demonstrators demanding the release of former army chief Fonseka, who was arrested by the military on Monday.

Several bystanders were wounded and rushed to hospital, an AFP photographer at the Superior Courts Complex said.

“Police fired teargas at the demonstrators vafter the two groups clashed,” he said. Police said they were using tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds after several vehicles were damaged during the clashes.