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Buses transporting Muslims to cast their ballots in Sri Lanka’s presidential election have been attacked by gunfire, fuelling fears that minorities are being targeted to stop them from voting.

Police officials confirmed that the buses, which were carrying hundreds of Muslim residents from the north-west town of Puttalam, were hit on Saturday morning when attackers burned tyres on the road and set up makeshift roadblocks to ambush the convoy of more than 100 vehicles.

“The...

Sri Lanka temporarily blocked some social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, after attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the worst unrest since Easter bombings by Islamist militants.

The island nation has ramped up security as fears grow that minority Muslims among its population of 22 million could face sectarian violence after Islamist bombers blew themselves up in four hotels and three churches, killing more than 250 people.

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Violence erupted in a Sri Lankan town bombed on Easter Sunday after a largely Catholic mob attacked Muslim-owned shops and a vehicle -- prompting church authorities to call for calm and no further hostilities against Muslims in the area.

A minor riot broke out Sunday in Porutota village near Negombo after a dispute between a Muslim tuk tuk driver and a group of Catholics, who wanted to inspect the vehicle, an army intelligence source told CNN. The source requested anonymity as they...

Sri Lanka has expelled 200 Muslim clerics after the suicide bombings that killed hundreds on Easter Sunday.

With churches closed again on May 5 amid the heightened security since Islamist bombers struck services and three luxury hotels, a minister said that 600 foreign nationals who had overstayed their visas had been expelled. Among them were 200 Muslim clerics. The authorities are still investigating the local group behind the bombings which forged ties with the Islamic State before...

Sri Lanka announced a ban on face coverings, including veils and burqas, in the wake of the Easter suicide bombings that killed 253 people. 

President Maithripala Sirisena used emergency powers to ban any form of face covering in public.

The new decree announced today means Muslim women in Sri Lanka will no longer be able to wear veils covering their faces. 

An MP called for the ban last week, citing the religious garment's use by terrorists to escape authorities by...

Hundreds of Muslims are in hiding after fleeing the Sri Lankan port city of Negombo as communal tensions rise in the aftermath of the deadly Easer Sunday bombings.

The bombings, which killed 359 people and injured 500, shattered the relative calm that has existed in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka since a civil war against mostly Hindu, ethnic Tamil separatists ended 10 years ago, and have raised fears of a return to sectarian violence.

A group of around 800 Muslims are being...

A curfew is in place in the central district of Kandy, where crowds from the Buddhist Sinhala majority attacked a mosque, Muslim-owned shops and homes.

"Four mosques, 37 houses, 46 shops and 35 vehicles damaged in Digana and Teldeniya area due to the mob attack," a local official told the BBC. "Everything is destroyed. Muslims live in fear," he said.

Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency after several attacks against mosques and Muslim-owned businesses.

Religious...

A Sri Lankan Bangor University student has had her deportation rescinded by the UK’s Immigration minister after a last ditch meeting with her MP finally forced a U-turn.

Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams announced the decision late this evening that Shiromini Satkunarajah and her mother Roshina were being released immediately from Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire.

The Arfon MP had earlier raised a point of order in the Commons after “repeated” attempts to speak...