Sri Lankans storm prime minister's office

STORY: Protesters barged inside the prime minister's office and asked for the ouster of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, after the prime minister was made interim president in the crisis-hit nation.

Police stationed outside the prime minister's office fired several rounds of tear gas and a military helicopter briefly circled overhead, but protesters appeared undeterred and finally surged into the compound. Wickremesinghe's team declined to reveal his whereabouts.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has fled the country, called the speaker of parliament to say he would resign later in the day and that his ally Wickremesinghe should be interim president, infuriating Sri Lankans struggling with months-long shortages of food, fuel and power.

Protests against the economic crisis have simmered for months and came to a head last weekend when hundreds of thousands of people took over key government buildings in Colombo, blaming the Rajapaksas and their allies for runaway inflation, corruption and a severe lack of fuel and medicines.

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