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Sri Lanka cash handout: Three killed as Covid-19 aid distributed in Colombo

Police outside a warehouse in ColomboImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The crush occurred at the warehouse of a businessman in the Maligawatte suburb

Three people have been killed and at least eight others hurt when they were trampled during a handout of cash in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.

A businessman had started handing out the money to those suffering difficulties in the Covid-19 outbreak, and hundreds had gathered.

Police said they were not informed in advance about the distribution of cash and it was unauthorised.

Six people involved with the relief distribution have been arrested.

The incident took place at the businessman’s warehouse in the Colombo suburb of Maligawatte.

The handout was reportedly for the Eid festival season, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A number of the injured are being treated at the National Hospital in Colombo.

Sri Lanka has reported just over 1,000 coronavirus cases, along with nine virus-related deaths.

A lockdown has been in place in the capital since late March, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, although restrictions have been eased in some other areas of the country.

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