Almost two dozen people were arrested on Tuesday even as parts of Sri Lanka were under indefinite curfew after a man was killed by majority Sinhalese mobs who set on fire Muslim-owned shops and vehicles and vandalised mosques in an escalating backlash following the Easter terror attacks.
The 45-year-old died of injuries sustained when a crowd stormed his carpentry workshop in the Puttalam district in the NWP and slashed him, official sources said.
The attack was triggered by a group of people demanding a search of the building after soldiers inspected a lake nearby looking for weapons, Reuters news agency reports.
In a televised address, Police Chief Chandana Wickramaratne warned that officers would respond to rioters with maximum force.
Sri Lanka has been on the edge since the April 21 horror when suicide bombers exploded themselves in three churches and three luxury hotels besides two other places.
A muslim owned home that was attacked by a mob is seen on May 14, 2019 in Thummodara, Sri Lanka.
The country's North-Western province, where the worst violence flared, will be shut down for longer, police said.
Authorities imposed a temporary ban on social media networks and messaging apps after a clash in another part of the country was traced to a dispute on Facebook.
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Rioting there, north of the capital Colombo, saw police fire bullets into the air to disperse mobs marauding through several towns.
The latest unrest began as Catholic churches resumed Sunday mass for the first time since the Easter bombings.
There was glass everywhere at the Abrar mosque in the Muslim-majority town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight. "It is no heroism in attacking Muslims and damaging their property - true heroism is to control and overcome oneself", Ranjith said.
"Don't laugh more, 1 day u will cry", the shopkeeper wrote.
According to the the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) - the main body of Islamic clerics - there has been increased suspicion of Muslims after the attacks blamed on local Islamic group National Thowheed Jamath, which is believed to have links with the Islamic State (IS) that claimed the carnage.
Dozens of people have been detained since the Easter attacks, and with security heightened students are only allowed into schools after checks for explosives.