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Army says will investigate soldier who failed to act during mob attacks

As increasing eye witness reports and videos emerge of the collusion of Sri Lankan security forces with rioting Sinhala mobs responsible for the widespread anti-Muslim violence, the state's army has said it would be investigating the case of one soldier, accused of standing by whilst the mobs attacked. 

The army said it had launched a special inquiry into the incident which took place in Thunmodara. 

"If the inquiry confirms that the person in question happens to be an Army member, the Army will take all necessary disciplinary actions against the said member," the army said. 

A video released by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka yesterday shows military and police personnel not just standing by but actively joining in with rioting Sinhala mobs. 

"The CCTV recording from the mosque shows an army soldier apparently calling the mob towards the premises with a hand signal around 6.45 pm. In less than a minute later, at least three policemen and five soldiers can be seen among the mob that started pelting the windows with stones," JDS said, publicising the video. 

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Over 60 people have been arrested in relation to the anti-Muslim riots, which left one Muslim man dead and hundreds of homes, businesses and mosques destroyed. 

The riots are reminiscent of anti-Tamil pogroms from the 1950s-1980s, where state security forces were well documented to have colluded with the attacking Sinhala mobs.