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article imageOne protester killed in Sri Lankan military shooting

By Layne Weiss     Aug 2, 2013 in World
Colombo - One person has been killed and about 15 were wounded when Sri Lanka's military shot at protesters demanding clean drinking water.
The shooting happened Thursday in Weliweriya, 12 miles northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital. Over 4,000 protesters had gathered to demand action after chemical emissions from a factory had polluted the drinking water in 15 local villages, The Associated Press reports.
One protester said the police used tear gas to break up the protests, but when protesters began to clash with police, the army shot at them. Some soldiers shot at protesters as they began to flee the scene.
Military spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the military did not aim at the protesters, but rather shot in the air to disperse them. He said "people with other agendas" were behind the protests, but did not say who these people were or what their motives were.
Police spokeman Buddika Siriwardene confirmed that one person had died and 15 had been hospitalized.
Residents have been demanding for over a month that the factory be closed.
Due to the protests, a glove maker who had denied involvement in polluting the water was forced to suspend operations at the factory, News 360 reports.
The issue has gone up to the courts, while the public demands the factory be closed for good.
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