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Sri Lanka grills firebrand monk over anti-Muslim riots

Published on Jul 2, 2014 8:51 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's police called in a militant Buddhist monk for questioning Wednesday after he was accused of instigating deadly anti-Muslim riots that heightened religious tensions in the ethnically divided nation.

Galagodaatte Gnanasara was summoned to the Criminal Investigations Department over a speech he made two weeks ago in the resort town of Alutgama where mobs attacked Muslim-owned shops and homes, police said.

"Other speakers who were at the same stage with the monk will also be questioned in due course," said a statement, adding that a total of 117 people had been arrested in connection with the religious riots.

A police source said Gnanasara had been "detained" but stopped short of saying that he had been formally arrested.

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