Foreign

Sri Lanka Tense after Night of Violence

A curfew is in force across Sri Lanka after mobs burned down homes belonging to the ruling Rajapaksas and MPs amid mounting anger at the economic crisis.

The overnight violence capped a day of unrest that saw PM Mahinda Rajapaksa quit, but this failed to bring calm.

Crowds besieged his residence and tried to storm it, he was evacuated to safety in a pre-dawn operation amid tear gas and warning shots.

Seven persons have died and more than 190 have been injured since Monday.

The island-wide curfew has been extended to Wednesday morning as authorities seek to quell the violence. Many protesters are still calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of Mahinda, to leave office.

Reports say more than 50 houses of politicians were burned overnight. Violence abated as day broke, although protests continued despite the curfew.

In the east, protesters gathered in front of Trincomalee Naval Base after unconfirmed reports that Mahinda Rajapaksa had gone there with family members after escaping from his Colombo residence.

Since last month Sri Lanka has been gripped by escalating demonstrations over soaring prices and power cuts.

Bbc/Adebukola Aluko

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