Christian-Muslim clashes rock the city with Easter attacks in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka ' S Roman Catholic Church Appealed For Calmness And A Ban On Alcohol Monday After Clashes Between Christians And Muslims In A City Signed By The Easter Suicide Bits.

Hundreds Of Security Forces Entered Negombo To Set A Curfew After Dozens Of Muslim-owned Shops, Houses, And Vehicles Were Attacked.

St. Sebastian ' S Church In The City 40 Kilometers (25 Miles) North Of Capital Colombo One Of The Three Churches And Three Hotels Affected By Jihadist Suicide Terrorists On April 21, 257 People Killed.

I Call All Catholic And Christian Brothers And Sisters To Hurt Even One Muslim Person Because They Are Our Brothers, Because They Are Part Of Our Religious Culture, Said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop Of Colombo.

" Therefore, Please Avoid Hurting Them And Try To Create A Better Spirit Of Understanding And Good Relationships Between All Communities Of Sri Lanka," He Said In A Video Message To The Country.

The Cardinal Visited Negombo, Talked With Clergy In A Mosque And Appealed The Government To Close Bars In The Catholic-Dominated City Known As Little Rome " His Spokesman, Father Edmund Tilakaratne, Said.

As A Temporary Measure, The Cardinal Asked The Government To Order The Ban On The Sale Of Liquor In The Negombo Area, Tilakaratne Told AFP.

In Another TV Call, Ranjith Appealed To Christians, Buddhists, And Muslims To Show Restraint.

Negombo Suffered The Highest Death Toll In The Attacks On Easter Sunday That Were Claimed By The Islamic State Group. The Bomb At St. Sebastian ' S Killed More Than 100 Admirers.

A Top Police Officer Said That Two Arrests Were Made After The Last Riots And That More Suspects Were Identified Through Camera Images.

The Officer Said That Everything Will Be Prosecuted On The Basis Of Emergency Laws That Were Approved After The Easter Attacks.

At Least Three People Were Injured In The Skirmishes, The Officer Said AFP. Although We Have Arrested Only Two Suspects At The Moment, Many More Have Been Identified And We Will Prosecute Them.

The Officer Said An Alcohol-driven Dispute Between Two Groups Degenerated Into The Skirmishes.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Said In A Statement That The Government Will Compensate Those Who Lost Property During The Nightly Confrontations.

Unverified Videos Circulating On Social Media, Mobs Throwing Stones At Islamic Companies, Destroying Furniture In Homes, Shattered Windows, And Fallen Vehicles.

AFP Could Not Verify Images Immediately.

A Few Hundred Additional Troops And Police Were Deployed Late On Sunday Because The Authorities Imposed A Nocturnal Nightlife Ban In The City.

The Government Blocked Access To WhatsApp, Facebook And Other Social Media Platforms For A Few Hours To Prevent It From Spreading Rumors And Videos Aimed At Inciting Unrest.

The Curfew Was Lifted On Monday Morning And The Social Media Were Working Again By The Afternoon Of Monday.

The Largest International Airport Of Sri Lanka 's Is Located In The Area, But The Police Said There Was No Disruption.

Muslims Make Up About 10 Percent Of The Buddhist Majority Sri Lanka ' S 21 Million Residents And Christians About 7.6 Percent.

Meanwhile, Public Schools Have Reopened Monday For The First Time Since Easter Attacks, With Heavy-Armed Police And Troops Guarding Schools.

The Presence Was Poor Today, But We Maintain A High Level Of Security, The Best Policeman Said. Most Parents Use A Wait And See Attitude And We Hope That The Presence Will Soon Return To Normal.

The Country Has Been In A State Of Emergency Since The Easter Bombings.

Security Forces And Police Have Been Granted Extensive Powers To Arrest And Detain Suspects.

The Government Accused The Easter Attacks Of A Local Jihadist Organization That Had Pledged Allegiance To The Islamic State.

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