First death in Sri Lanka protests as police open fire

STORY: It marks the first fatality since the largely peaceful protests over the government's mishandling of the economy began last month, and came as the country sought rapid financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease a worsening economic crisis.

According to the director of Kegalle Teaching Hospital, Mihiri Priyangani, two of the injured were in critical condition and the deceased person had likely been shot, but needed a post-mortem to confirm the exact cause of death.

Disturbances erupted over after police asked protesters to move away from a key railway line they had blocked for hours, police spokesman Nalin Thalduwa told Reuters, adding that several officers were also injured in the clashes.

Some rights groups and foreign diplomats called for restraint and condemned the violence in Rambukkana, where police imposed a curfew late on Tuesday.

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