Thirty-one Rohingya refugees who were inside a UN safe house run by the UNHCR near Sri Lanka's capital city were taken into police custody, after a mob led by Sinhala Buddhist monks stormed the building on Tuesday.
According to AFP, the mob "broke down gates and entered the walled multi-storied compound as frightened refugees huddled together in upstairs rooms".
"We have pushed back the mob and the refugees will be relocated in a safer place," a police official was quoted by the news wire as saying.
One of the monks who led the mob posted on his social media page, "these are Rohingya terrorists who killed Buddhist monks in Myanmar", by an image of Rohingya mothers holding their children. he is known to be part of the group, Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa or Sinhalese National Force.
Sinhala Buddhist monks have demonstrated over recent weeks in support of their Myanmar counterparts, condemning the Rohingya Muslims as terrorists.
Last week, the Sri Lankan prime minister was the latest in a series of Sinhala politicians to pronounce his objection to allowing fleeing Rohingya refugees into the country.
Tamil speaking people across the North-East have meanwhile publicly condemned the atrocities inflicted on the Rohingya Muslim population by Myanmese troops.