Sri Lanka Presidential election: Gunmen open fire on bus carrying voters in Mannar

An identified group hurled stones and opened fire at two buses carrying voters in Mannar in northern Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan media reported.

Sri Lanka Presidential election: Gunmen open fire on bus carrying voters in Mannar
File photo

Colombo: Gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying voters in Mannar in northern Sri Lanka on Saturday, as the island country began voting for a presidential election. 

An identified group hurled stones and opened fire at two buses carrying voters in Mannar in northern Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan media reported.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but a police official said the attackers had burnt tyres on the road and tried to ambush the convoy of more than 100 vehicles.

"The gunmen opened fire and also pelted stones," a police official said.

Voting began at 7 am at over 12,000 polling centres to elect the country's eighth President. A total of 15,992,096 Sri Lankans are eligible to cast their ballots in a contest that will witness a battle between a record 35 candidates. This is the highest number of contenders since the first presidential election which was held in 1982, and up from 18 candidates who contested the last one in 2015.

An Election Commission (EC) official said that the results were expected by Saturday night.