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Sri Lanka bans face coverings in wake of Easter bombings

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tiamin rice

Sri Lanka has banned all kinds of clothing that cover the face and prevent identification, such as niqabs and burqas, officials said on Sunday, a week after the Easter bombings that left over 250 people dead.

The ban does not directly refer to Muslim female garb, burqa and niqab, but was seen as a clear reference to the type of dress.

A statement from the office of the president said the ban was being introduced from Monday under new regulations brought under a state of emergency in response to the Easter bombings in the capital, Colombo.

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Sri Lanka’s Justice Ministry had already been considering introducing laws preventing wearing of Burqa and Niqab, but has expedited the ban.

On Sunday, a group of Muslim leaders had called on community members to refrain from wearing clothing in a manner that obstructs identification of persons.

Most of those killed in the Easter Sunday attacks were Sri Lankans.

The dead also included 40 foreigners, including British, U.S., Australian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.

More than 100 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, have been detained for questioning over the Easter attacks.

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The Sri Lankan military said at least 15 people were killed during a fierce gun battle with militants on the east coast on Friday, including six children.

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Sri Lanka’s 22 million population is majority Buddhist and includes minority Christians, Muslims and Hindus.

dpa/NAN

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