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Sri Lanka’s president extends emergency for month

Sri Lanka’s president extends emergency for month

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena extended on Wednesday by a further month the state of emergency imposed immediately after the Easter Sunday Islamist bombings that killed 258 people, AFP said.

The president’s proclamation said the emergency, which gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods of time, would continue for another 30 days, citing “public security.”

Sri Lanka initially imposed the emergency to crack down on local jihadists blamed for the April 21 bombings that targeted three churches and three luxury hotels.

Three weeks after the suicide bombings, anti-Muslim riots broke out in a province north of the capital in a backlash against the attacks.

Christians make up 7.6 percent and Muslims 10 percent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka.