Sri Lanka arrests monk, police officer for anti-Muslim violence

By REUTERS
June 18, 2017 20:05
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Sri Lankan police have arrested four people including a Buddhist monk and a police officer accused of taking part in an attack on a mosque, as part of a crackdown on violence against the minority Muslim population.

Police said on Sunday the four were members of the hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Power Force organization, which Muslim groups have blamed for a string of recent attacks on businesses and mosques. BBS has denied any involvement.

"The police arrested four people including a Buddhist monk and a serving police constable after watching the CCTV footage of an attack on a mosque," police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody told reporters, referring to an attack on a property in Panadura, a suburb of the capital Colombo, on May 17.

"This is a major breakthrough in the investigations, these two people are prominent members of the Bodu Bala Sena organization," he added, saying they were arrested with a sword, a hockey stick and equipment used to make petrol bombs.

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