Shots fired in the air from Ranka PM's residence when protesters broke the gate

Shots fired in the air from Ranka PM’s residence when protesters broke the gate

Thousands of protesters from inside the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s residence broke through the main gate and burned a truck at the entrance, according to AFP reporters, and ammunition was fired.

Police also fired tear gas to push back protesters in retaliation for the early attacks of the day by those loyal to the leaving Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Police sources confirmed that the crowd had been fired in the air to prevent Rajapaksa, who resigned as prime minister earlier in the day, from breaking the internal security ring of the confined dwelling.

Witnesses saw several tear gas canisters colliding with the US Embassy grounds opposite the residence. Known as the Temple Tree, it is an important symbol of state power on the islands of South Asia.

Officials said the army had deployed hundreds of troops to protect the retiring Prime Minister and his aides in their homes after protesters pulled down the rear gates.