ALUTGAMA, June 16, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police extended a curfew in a popular tourist region Monday after at least 80 people were injured and dozens of Muslim-owned shops and homes torched when a Buddhist mob went on the rampage.
Authorities said the curfew would stay in place for a second night running in the neighbouring resorts of Alutgama and Beruwala as community leaders accused police of doing little to contain Sunday night’s violence.
“At least 80 people have been wounded and among them are some police officers too,” a police source in the area told AFP by telephone.
“The situation is largely under control, but the curfew was extended as a precaution.”
Local Muslims accused the police of failing to protect them when followers of the extremist Buddhist Force — better known as BBS — started setting fire to businesses after sunset on Sunday evening.
Police fired teargas and imposed a curfew but were unable to prevent several dozen shops and homes being attacked in the two predominantly Muslim towns, around 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of the capital Colombo.
Both areas are popular beach resorts frequented by international tourists, but there were no reports of any foreigners or hotels being caught