PASYALA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of persecuted Ahmadi Muslims from Pakistan who sought refuge in Sri Lanka now huddle together in fear following attacks and harassment after the Easter bombings.
They are just some of the Muslims scared the Islamic State-claimed assault will bring both government and mob retaliation. Activists already say some Muslim youths have disappeared, perhaps arrested by tightlipped security forces.
Sunday’s bombing killed over 350 people and wounded 500 more.
The Ahmadi Muslims say the harassment only grew more amplified in the days after the attack, fueled by a mistaken sense that since they came from Pakistan, they too must be like the extremists.
Police and soldiers protect the Ahmadi mosque in Negombo, while police man an under-construction Ahmadi community center in Pasyala, where some 500 other Ahmadis had been bused.