Sri Lanka

Curfew imposed in northern Sri Lankan district following violence

Colombo (dpa) - Police have clamped a curfew in a northern district of Sri Lanka after a senior police officer was hacked to death by civilians provoked over the accidental shooting of a barber, police said Friday.

The curfew was imposed in Jaffna district, 390 kilometres north of the capital, until Saturday morning following the killing of the police officer on Thursday night after he visited the scene of a previous incident where a soldier had accidentally killed a civilian barber.

The soldier is alleged to have opened fire at one of his senior officers following a dispute with him, but accidentally hit the barber, killing him instantly. Another person was injured in the incident.

Tension remained high in the area following the incident while additional police and army personnel have been moved into the area to intensify security.

Superintendent of Police Charls Wijewardena was part of a police team which rushed to the scene where the barber was killed on Thursday. He was abducted by a group of civilians who were protesting over the barber's death and later his battered body, which had been dumped at the roadside, was recovered.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a statement issued on Friday condemned the shooting incident and assured that a full investigation will be held into it.

The president said that the affected families will be paid full compensation while the police officer killed will be posthumously promoted to the next rank.

The incident came as Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen arrived in Sri Lanka for talks with the government and the rebels to ensure that the peace process between the two sides continue and the truce continues without a disruption.

Helgesen departed to the Tamil rebel controlled Kilinochchi area, 320 kilometres north of the capital, on Friday for talks with rebel political wing leader, S.P. Thamilselvan.

On his return he is due to meet President Kumaratunga and other political leaders.

Norway is trying to broker a peace deal to end the country's 21-year-old Tamil minority ethnic conflict, which has claimed over 69,000 lives. dpa ad jh


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