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Asia Sri Lankan Muslims fear more attacks as police stand idle

BUDDHIST mobs swept through Muslim neighbourhoods in Sri Lanka’s central hills, destroying shops and restaurants and setting homes on fire despite a curfew, a state of emergency and a heavy deployment of security forces, residents said today.

In the small town of Pallekele, mobs ignored the curfew and used petrol bombs to burn four homes, said Mohamed Nazar.

An angry crowd gathered around Mr Nazar’s house around 8pm yesterday, throwing rocks and shouting. The family turned off the lights so no-one could see inside. “Then a large flame came and the house caught fire,” Nazar said.

As evening began to fall today, many Muslims said they worried that darkness could bring more attacks and that the police would do little to stop them.

“We can’t trust the army and police. My shop has been attacked in their presence and I don’t know what could happen tonight,” said Mohamed Faraz, whose butcher shop was ransacked.

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