Lankan police probe fire at Muslim-owned store

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The police in Sri Lanka were investigating a fire which Saturday destroyed a Muslim-owned clothing store in a district where religious tensions were heightened after anti-Muslim riots killed four people and wounded 80.

The authorities had not ruled out arson at the upmarket No-Limit store in Panadura, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Colombo, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. “We are looking at the possibility of arson as well as an accidental fire," Rohana told AFP. "The fire started in the upper floor and we are still investigating."

He said workers had carried out some electrical repair work the previous day. There were six people at the store, including two unarmed guards at the time of the pre-dawn fire, he said. The authorities tightened security in the area following the fire.

Witnesses said they heard several explosions as the fire completely gutted the two-storey building.

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