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Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clashes in Kandy

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COLOMBO — Sri Lanka has declared a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday after anti-Muslim riots left two people dead and more than 100 homes and shops ablaze in the popular hill resort of Kandy, a central district famed for its tea plantations and Buddhist relics.

Sri Lanka’s President has declared a state of emergency for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence after clashes erupted between majority Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim community.

Tension has been growing between the two communities in Sri Lanka over the past year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.

A tweet from the office of President Maithripala Sirisena said the decree would “redress the unsatisfactory security situation prevailing in certain parts of the country”.

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It said the country’s security forces “have been suitably empowered to deal with criminal elements in the society and urgently restore normalcy.”

Armed forces were deployed to bolster security in addition to a unit of elite police commandos who were sent in to restore order after rioters defied an overnight curfew and went on the rampage.

The unrest in the Indian Ocean island’s central district of Kandy began on Sunday after the funeral of a truck driver from the majority Sinhalese Buddhist community, who died days after he was involved in an altercation with four Muslims, the Government said.

Buddhist mobs swept through towns, burning at least 11 Muslim-owned shops and homes. Police fired tear gas into the crowds, and later announced a curfew.

These areas remained under curfew on Tuesday, with soldiers and police patrolling the streets and no-one allowed outside.

Reuters/AFP

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3 die as building collapse near Delhi, dozen more people feared trapped

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NEW DELHI — At least three people have confirmed died after a six-storey building collapsed and fell on another building in Greater Noida near New Delhi of India on Tuesday night.

The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) team has recovered three bodies from under the debris of the building that collapsed in Greater Noida’s Shah Beri village.

Bodies of two people were first recovered from the remains of the four-storey building at around 1:15 am. Six hour later, a third body was recovered. A woman is among those who died in the collapse.

At least a dozen more people including children are feared trapped in the debris,the police say.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate and the police to monitor relief and rescue activities along with the NDRF team.

The agitated locals say though the buildings collapsed at around 8:30 pm, the police reached the spot almost an hour after they were informed.

Meanwhile, three people, including the man who owned the under-construction site, have been arrested, police said.

Eighteen families lived in the building in the Shah Beri village, according to reports.

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