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Church says Sri Lankan military killed protesters

Sri Lankan church accuses military of killing unarmed protesters, desecrating church

Church says Sri Lankan military killed protesters

WELIWERIYA, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka's Roman Catholic church has accused the military of shooting unarmed protesters and desecrating a church by entering it with weapons and attacking people who sought refuge during a violent crackdown on a demonstration last week.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith made the accusations in a message read at the funeral service Wednesday of an 18-year-old high school student who was among three people who were fatally shot by the military last Thursday.

Residents of Weliweriya town northeast of Colombo and surrounding villages were protesting discharges of chemical waste from a factory that were polluting drinking water.

Witnesses and television reports said the military shot at the protesters and attacked them with poles, killing two teenagers and a 29-year-old man. They said at least 15 others were injured.

Updated : 2021-10-19 11:02 GMT+08:00