Fire guts Muslim shop in Sri Lanka amid tensions
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Fire guts Muslim shop in Sri Lanka amid tensions

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka police say a fire has gutted a Muslim-owned clothing chain and they’re investigating if it’s linked to deadly violence by a hard-line Buddhist group.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana says the two-story building burned down Saturday morning in Panadura in Kaluatara district south of the capital, Colombo, where mobs last Sunday hurled gasoline bombs and looted Muslim homes and businesses. Three were killed and more than 50 wounded.

Minority Muslims shut their shops on Thursday to protest the violence and demand justice.

The store owners could not be reached for comment. There were no casualties in the fire.

Last week’s violence erupted after a rally by the militant group Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force.

The U.N., EU and the U.S. have urged the government to protect minorities.