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Sri Lanka Attacks: After Easter, bloodshed face bans are prohibited



  Muslim women from Sri Lanka in Colombo, 2013

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A ban was issued, but the niqab or burqa was not specifically mentioned

In Sri Lanka, facial expressions were banned in public after several suicide bombings on Easter Sunday, killing at least 250 people and injuring hundreds.

President Maithruipala Sisirsena said he is now applying Emergency Law

Any piece of facial clothing that "impedes identification" is banned for national security, his office said.

The niqab and the burqa ̵

1; worn by Muslim women – were not specifically mentioned.

However, the movement is perceived as targeting the garments.

Sri Lanka is in high alert eight days after Islamist attacks on churches and hotels.

Dozens of suspects were arrested, but local authorities warned that more militants had been released.

How many people are affected?

Sri Lanka has a sizeable and centuries-old Muslim population – out of 21 million, just under 10% are Muslims.

Only a small number of women are said to wear the face-covering niqab or burqa. a one-piece veil that covers face and body.

Last week, a Sri Lankan MP proposed a ban on women wearing the burka, saying it should be banned for security reasons.

According to news broadcast India Today, All Ceylon Jamiyyatul Ulama, an organization of Muslim clerics in Sri Lanka, has asked women to avoid wearing facial gowns.

Over the weekend, thousands of Sri Lankan troops stood guard on the streets protecting churches and mosques.

Sundays divine services were canceled as a precaution, but the worshipers in the capital gathered to pray in front of St. Anthony's Shrine, which was badly damaged by the attacks.

The number of people arrested In connection with the bloodshed, the number rose to 150. The Sri Lankan authorities are also looking for some 140 supporters of the jihadist Islamic State group, which has stated that it was involved in the bombings, but no details has given.

Father and two brothers of the alleged organizer of the attacks, Zahran Hashim, were killed in an operation by security forces.

Hashim, who had blown himself up in a hotel in Colombo, founded an Islamist group called NTJ, which the authorities said was behind the attacks.


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