Sri Lanka elections | Gunmen fire on buses carrying Muslim Sri Lankan voters

There were no immediate reports of casualties

Gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying minority Muslim voters in northwest Sri lanka on Saturday, hours before polling in presidential elections got under way, police said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but a police official said the attackers had burnt tyres on the road and set up makeshift road blocks to ambush the convoy of more than 100 vehicles.

“The gunmen opened fire and also pelted stones,”a police official in Tantirimale, 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Colombo said. “At least two buses were hit, but we have no reports ofcasualties.”

Muslims from the coastal town of Puttalam were travelling to the neighbouring district ofMannar, where theywere registered to vote, the police official said.

Police reinforcements rushed to the area and cleared the obstructions on the road and escorted the convoy so that passengers could cast their ballots.

Theincident came as police and troops were locked in a tense stand off in the Tamil-dominated northern peninsula of Jaffna where residents complained of military road blocks ahead of voting.

Police reported to the independent Election Commission that the army was illegally manning roadblocks that could discourage residents from freely travelling to polling booths on Saturday.

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