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Over 1,000 Muslim-owned shops close in Colombo to protest attacks

More than 1,000 Muslim-owned businesses were shut for the day in the southern Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, as shop owners protested against the attacks on Muslims by Sinhala mobs on the island.

Ibrahim Nisthar Miflal, president of the Muslims Rights Organization, told the Associated Press that the closure was in protest at the lack of response by the government to apprehend those behind the attacks, which saw at least 3 people killed and dozens injured.

Muslim business and homes were also looted and burnt out with petrol bombs, as Sinhala mobs raged through several towns in the South-West of the island – beginning with Aluthagama.

A Muslim shop-keeper, who did not want to be named, told AFP,

"The protest is against the BBS and the police failure to protect our community".

The protests come after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa appealed for the strikes not to go ahead, as he visited the towns affected by the violence.

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