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Sri Lankan Army investigates man in uniform watching rioters during communal violence

File photo of Sri Lankan military officials. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI Colombo, Sri Lanka May 15, 2019, 05.29 PM (IST)

Sri Lankan Army has launched an investigation after a man in uniform was seen in a video watching rioters attacking Muslim-owned shops, vehicles and mosques during the communal violence that broke out in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks.

Army Headquarters said that its attention has been drawn to a video showing a man dressed in a uniform similar to that worn by the Army, watching as a group attacked property in the Thummodara area, the Colombo Gazette reported.

The Army said that an investigation has been launched to identify the man and verify if he is a soldier.

Army Headquarters said that if the man is confirmed to be a soldier then disciplinary action will be taken against him.

Sri Lankan authorities said they have arrested 60 people linked to the communal riots as a nationwide curfew was lifted on Wednesday in the island nation, which witnessed Sinhalese mob attacks on Muslim-owned shops and businesses.

The government imposed the island-wide curfew on Monday after the violence against the Muslim community, who account for 10 per cent of the country's population.

The curfew was briefly lifted on Tuesday before being reimposed for a second straight night following reports of fresh violence in some parts of the country.

The recent violence in which a man was hacked to death is a fresh backlash from the Easter attacks where nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 258 people and injuring over 500 others. 

Story highlights

Army Headquarters said that its attention has been drawn to a video showing a man dressed in a uniform similar to that worn by the Army, watching as a group attacked property in the Thummodara area, local media reported.