Sri Lanka police arrest 19 over racial violence

Sri Lanka's police say 19 persons have been arrested following racial violence in the country's south that started over a dispute between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara says four people were injured in attacks that took place Friday night in areas surrounding the southern town of Galle. Homes, shops and vehicles have been damaged.

A curfew imposed overnight was lifted Saturday morning.

Sinhalese Buddhists make up 75 percent of Sri Lanka's population of 20 million while Muslims make up 9 percent. Even though relations between the communities have been generally cordial, Muslims have been victims of hate speech and their businesses attacked by radical Sinhalese groups in recent years.