Sri Lankan troops open fire to contain riots over petrol and diesel

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The country’s population of 22 million is facing severe shortages and long queues for scarce supplies

The Sri Lankan military opened fire to contain riots at a petrol station, officials said on Sunday as unprecedented queues for petrol and diesel were seen across the bankrupt country .

Troops fired at Visuvamadu, 365 kilometers (228 miles) north of Colombo, on Saturday night as their outpost was pelted with rocks, army spokesman Nilantha Premaratne said.

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“A group of 20 to 30 people threw stones and damaged an army truck,” Premaratne told UKTN.

Police say four civilians and three soldiers were injured when the army first opened fire to contain unrest linked to the worsening economic crisis.

As the pump ran out of gas, motorists began to protest and the situation escalated into a clash with troops, police said.

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Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since independence, with the country unable to find dollars to import basic necessities including food, fuel and medicine.

The country’s 22 million people are facing severe shortages and long queues for scarce supplies, while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has for months resisted calls to resign over mismanagement.

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