Colombo, August 5:

A curfew was clamped in a northern district of Sri Lanka after a senior police officer was hacked to death by civilians provoked by an accidental shooting of a barber, police said today.

The curfew was imposed in Jaffna district, 390 km north of here, until tomorrow morning following the killing of the police officer last night after he visited the scene of a previous incident where a soldier had accidentally killed a civilian barber. The soldier is alleged to have opened fire at one of his senior officers following a dispute with him, but accidentally hit the barber, killing him instantly. Another person was injured in the incident. Tension was high in the area following the incident as additional police and army personnel moved to intensify security.

Superintendent of Police Charls Wijewardena was part of a police team that rushed to the scene where the barber was killed yesterday. He was abducted by a group of civilians who were protesting over the barber’s death and later his battered body, which had been dumped on the roadside, was recovered. President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a statement today condemned the shooting incident and assured that a full investigation would be held. The president said that the affected families would be paid full compensation while the police officer killed will be posthumously promoted to the next rank. The incident came as Norwegian

Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen arrived in Sri Lanka for talks with the government and the rebels to ensure that the peace process continues.