Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:56:55 PM

Sri Lanka makes first arrest over hate crimes against Muslims

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COLOMBO: Police in Sri Lanka have arrested a key figure from an extremist Buddhist organisation blamed for a series of hate crimes against Muslims that has drawn international censure.

The 32-year-old man from the radical Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Force, is the first suspect to be arrested in connection with arson attacks against Muslims that have stoked religious tensions.

Police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said investigations were continuing into 16 “major incidents” of arson since April that hit Muslim homes, businesses, mosques and a cemetery.

“We are taking a tough stand against such crimes,” he told reporters.

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