A Muslim man was killed in Sri Lanka on Monday, police said after imposing a nationwide curfew to contain a violent new backlash against Easter suicide bombings.
The 45-year-old man died shortly after admission to a hospital in Puttalam district during anti-Muslim rioting which began Sunday in the area, a police official told AFP.
"Mobs had attacked him with sharp weapons at his carpentry workshop," the official said. "This is the first death from the riots." His death was reported after authorities ordered the entire country placed under a night curfew and police were ordered to use maximum force to deal with troublemakers.
A screenshot of the alleged Facebook exchange seen by Reuter showed a user had written in Sinhalese, "It is difficult to make us cry" and added a local slur against Muslim men.
A Facebook user identified as Hasmar Hameed, whom two locals said was the man later arrested, replied in English: "Dont laugh more 1 day u will cry."
Authorities said they arrested the author of a Facebook post identifying him as 38-year-old Abdul Hameed Mohamed Hasmar. Locals in Chilaw, a majority Christian town, said Hasmar's post was interpreted as menacing and an angry crowd beat him.
Police said there were sporadic incidents of mobs throwing stones and torching shops, motorcycles and cars owned by Muslims. In the town of Hettipola, at least three shops were torched.
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