Sri Lanka probes store fire after clashes

A fire today destroyed a clothing store in a Sri Lankan district that witnessed clashes between hardline Buddhists and the minority Muslims, prompting police to launch a probe.

Colombo: A fire today destroyed a clothing store in a Sri Lankan district that witnessed clashes between hardline Buddhists and the minority Muslims, prompting police to launch a probe.

Police was probing whether arson or electrical short circuit was the reason behind the fire which destroyed the store owned by a Muslim in the upmarket Panadura, a populous Colombo suburb, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.

The blaze came a day after Sri Lanka`s Muslim minority shortened their Friday prayer services because of heightened religious tensions.

Four people were killed and nearly 100 injured in communal clashes on Sunday in the southwestern areas of Beruwala, Dharga Town and Aluthgama.

Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said he will appoint a panel to investigate the violence and stop the incidents of communal hatred involving the majority Sinhalese and minority Muslims.

"I will be appointing a high-level panel to inquire in to recent disturbances," President Mahinda Rajapaksa tweeted today.

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