Anti-Muslim riots flare anew in Sri Lanka despite emergency

Residents say anti-Muslim rioting has flared anew in central Sri Lanka despite a state of emergency, with Buddhist mobs burning mosques and Muslim-owned shops in at least two towns.

The police ordered a curfew across much of the region Wednesday for a third day, trying to calm the situation.

An area resident who requested anonymity, fearing reprisal attacks, said two mosques and some Muslim-owned shops were attacked Wednesday in two towns in the central hills. The extent of the damage could not be verified.

Anti-Muslim riots began Monday after a Buddhist Sinhalese man died after reportedly being attacked by a group of Muslim youths.

Sri Lanka has long been divided between the majority Sinhalese, who are overwhelmingly Buddhist, and minority Tamils who are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.