Army evacuates former Sri Lankan PM from besieged residence

TEHRAN, May 10 (MNA) – Heavily armed troops have evacuated outgoing Sri Lankan Prime Minister from his official residence in Colombo after thousands of protesters breached the main gate in the worst violence in weeks of protests over economic crisis.

Protesters who forced their way into the prime minister’s official Temple Trees residence then attempted to storm the main two-storey building on Tuesday where outgoing Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was holed up with his immediate family, AlJazeera reported.

“After a pre-dawn operation, the former PM and his family were evacuated to safety by the army,” a top security official told AFP news agency. “At least 10 petrol bombs were thrown into the compound.”

Rajapaksa’s evacuation to an undisclosed location followed a day of violent protests in which five people, including a member of parliament, were killed and nearly 200 wounded.

The security official said police kept up a barrage of tear gas and fired warning shots in the air to hold back protesters at all three entrances to the building.

The sudden surge in violence comes despite a curfew and a state of emergency that was imposed on Friday.

ZZ/PR

News Code 186613

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