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Police open fire to fend off mob in Sri Lanka

[MISC, Monday, 15 August 2011 09:00 No Comment]

(Monsters and Critics) Colombo – Police opened fire and arrested at least 25 people in north-eastern Sri Lanka Monday following a mob attack by residents angry about attempts to stop illegal fishing, officials said.

Mobs attacked a navy vehicle, threw stones at police and set fire to one of their vehicles in Kinniya fishing village, 280 kilometres north-east of the capital.

‘The villagers are trying to get the navy detachment removed as they are arresting people who are carrying out illegal fishing by using dynamite. That is the reason they have attacked the sailors without any provocation,’ navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.

At least two civilians were injured in the shooting and a police officer attempting to control the crowd was hurt by a stone.

Ranjith Silva, chief government administrator for the district of Trincomalee, summoned a meeting of the villagers to defuse the tension but was prevented from leaving the venue by protesters who insisted that 25 people arrested be released.

[Full Coverage]

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