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Armed cops, soldiers patrol streets in Colombo as shops re-open amid emergency

53 people have been arrested so far

Armed cops, soldiers patrol streets in Colombo as shops re-open amid emergency
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Violence erupted in Colombo late Thursday as hundreds irate over rocketing prices and shortage of essentials tried to storm Rajapaksa's home.

The president was not at home, his office said, but the army and police were deployed. 15 people were injured and police vehicles were torched.

53 people have been arrested so far, as anger builds over an economic situation that has left the country without electricity for 13 hours a day, led to school exams being cancelled because of a lack of paper, and hospitals closing down.

Rajapaksa blamed unnamed 'extremist' groups for the violence and declared the state of emergency Friday. He defended his government, saying the crisis is not of its making and was driven by the pandemic that affected tourism.

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