"They are not responsible for what happened, the Muslim religion is a religion of peace and we will never be against you", he said.
Sri Lankan police on Sunday discovered a 10-acre camp in the eastern town of Kattankudy, where extremist militants linked to the deadly Easter attacks are believed to have practiced shooting and bombmaking.
Sri Lanka's Catholic cardinal says that he has received "foreign information" that attempts would be made this week to attack a church and another Catholic institution. He did not elaborate about their country of origin, but police said many foreigners who overstayed their visas were from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan.
"Curfew has been imposed with immediate effect for Negombo and Kochchikade police areas till 7 am tomorrow", police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
The senior officer said an investigation was underway into the clashes, the first violence between Muslims and Christians since the April 21 attacks targeting three churches and three luxury hotels in the country.
That afternoon as police entered the family residence, officials said, his daughter-in-law detonated explosives, killing herself and three officers.More news: Moscow vows to expand coop. with Tehran despite United States sanctions threat
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Asked why the threats were not taken more seriously after information was received from India, he said: "We had some information and intelligence-sharing; situations and military intelligence on a different direction and the others were different and there was a gap that everybody could see today".
He hoped normality would return by Monday when public schools reopen after an extended Easter vacation.
Hashim was confirmed to have been killed in the attack on a Colombo hotel on Easter Sunday.
The Negombo's main church, St Sebastian's, a building modelled on the cathedral in the French town of Reims, was targeted by a suicide bomber.
"We greatly appreciate the humanity that is also shown in Brande tonight - not only to our families and children, but to all the victims of the cruel acts in Sri Lanka". About 50 children were among those killed.
Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the clerics had entered the country legally, but amid a security crackdown after the attacks were found to have overstayed their visas, for which fines were imposed and they were expelled from the island.
The attacks were blamed on the local National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) whose leader was among the suicide bombers.