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Flagship store of Muslim-owned clothing chain torched

A Muslim-owned clothing store has been destroyed in a suspected arson attack on Saturday morning with reports of further attacks on mosques and Muslim businesses across the island.

The No Limit clothing store in Panadura, the flagship store of a Muslim-owned clothing chain, was reportedly hit by 6 petrol bombs in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to an anonymous source speaking to the Anadolu Agency. Other witnesses also reported hearing several explosions.

The Sri Lankan authorities have stated that are investigating the incident, with police spokesman Ajith Rohana telling AFP "we are looking at the possibility of arson as well as an accidental fire". He went on to add that there may have been a shortage in the building's electricity.

His comments come amid accusations the authorities were deliberately slow in responding to the fire, with an eye witness telling the Anadolu Agency, "two fire brigade vehicles came, but they had no water to douse the fire".

In March of last year, the No Limit store had previously been attacked by Sinhala Buddhist mobs.

As tension continue to flare, mosques across the island held shortened prayers on Friday and urged people to return home promptly from them, over fears of further attacks.

Also see our earlier posts:

TNA and TNPF protest in Jaffna against attacks on Muslims (20 June 2014)

Anti-Muslim violence ‘underscores majoritarianism in Sri Lanka’ – The Hindu editorial (20 June 2014)

Jaffna Uni protest against anti-Muslim violence (19 June 2014)

Hundreds protest in Tamil Nadu against Sinhala mob attack on Muslims (19 June 2014)

Muslims in Sri Lanka call on UN to investigate ongoing rights abuses (19 June 2014)

Give me a Muslim girl to marry, for the sake of national unity – Minister Mervyn Silva (19 June 2014)

Monk attacked again for supporting Muslims (19 June 2014)

Tamil groups condemn attacks against Muslims, call for justice (18 June 2014) 

Over 1,000 Muslim shops close in Colombo to protest attacks (18 June 2014)

49 arrested as Rajapaksa pledges to rebuild property affected by violence (18 June 2014)

Security forces, curfew assist Buddhist mobs attacking Muslims (17 Jun 2014)

'Those responsible for killings must be held to account’ says Amnesty (17 Jun 2014) 

OIC: Sri Lanka must bring perpetrators of anti-Islamic violence to justice (17 Jun 2014) 

UN rights chief ‘deeply alarmed’ by violence in Sri Lanka (16 Jun 2014) 

Sinhalese mob violence leaves three Muslims dead (16 Jun 2014) 

Sinhala group attacks Muslim shops, Rajapaksa urges restraint by all parties (15 Jun 2014)

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