Curfew extended in Sri Lanka after deadly clashes

STORY: Sri Lanka rolled out military vehicles on the streets Wednesday and a curfew was extended by an extra day after violent protests this week across the country.

Sri Lanka’s going through its worst economic crisis in history and demonstrators’ patience wore thin this week.

Protesters and a key trade group have called for a new government. And after a series of deadly clashes on Monday that left the capital Colombo’s streets full of debris as well as burnt-out vehicles and homes, the government has ordered troops to shoot at anyone damaging public property or threatening lives.

Monday saw ruling party supporters attack an anti-government protest camp, sparking violence.

It appeared to trigger a string of clashes that left several people dead and over 200 injured.

Thousands of protesters defied the curfew to attack officials, setting ablaze shops and businesses and the offices of the ruling party lawmakers and provincial politicians.

Sri Lanka's prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned this week after the clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.

But protesters say that's not enough and have called for his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to stand down as president too.

The crisis facing the island nation of 22 million people has seen power cuts, as well as shortages of imported essentials from medicines to fuel.

Sri Lankans have blamed the Rajapaksa dynasty for the economic meltdown that has left the country with only $50 million in reserves.

India has provided more than $3.5 billion in assistance, as the country began delayed talks with the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package that kicked off on Monday.

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