Sri Lanka blocks some social media platforms after violent incidents

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the suicide bombings in April that killed more than 250 people

"When Muslims tried to prevent the attack, we were asked by police to go inside", the official said.

Many anxious Muslims were hunkering down at home, but young men, some of them carrying rods, were still zipping around on motorbikes, despite regional curfews from 2 p.m. before the nationwide curfew was imposed.

One mosque suffered extensive damage, he said.

"Police and security forces have contained the situation, but these (unidentified) groups are still trying to create trouble".

The latest unrest came as Catholic churches resumed their public Sunday masses for the first time since the bombings.

Wickremesinghe said he had given powers to the security forces to take strong action against those disturbing the peace.

Residents in Muslim parts of the country's North Western Province said mobs had attacked mosques and damaged shops and businesses owned by Muslims for a second day.

There was glass everywhere at the Abrar mosque in the Muslim-majority town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a speech to the nation that security forces had brought the violence under control but the government made a decision to impose the curfew to stop the violence from spreading to other parts of the country.

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"Several shops have been attacked", a senior police officer told Agence France-Presse.

Mobs smashed the retailer's shop and vandalised a nearby mosque - which prompted security forces to fire warning shots above the crowd. "There are people trying to make political capital out of this situation".

Officials have blocked some social media platforms and messaging apps, including Facebook and Whatsapp, in an attempt to curb the violence.

A Sri Lankan army soldier outside St Lucia cathedral as Catholic nuns attend a holy mass held to bless victims of Easter Sunday attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Saturday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks, carried out by a local radicalized Muslim group. Earlier in the the morning, the Lankan government also reimposed a ban on social media following violent incidents between the minority Muslim and majority Sinhalese communities in the country.

Hasmar had reportedly written, "1 day u will cry", which was interpreted as being a threat.

There had already been clashes last week between Christians and Muslims in Negombo, the town north of Colombo that was targeted by the suicide attackers.

- NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) May 13, 2019As per the directive issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram & YouTube would be restricted with immediate effect until further notice.

Public schools completed their reopening from extended Easter holidays after the attacks, but attendance was extremely low, according to education authorities.

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