New Delhi, Mar 22 (EFE).- Sri Lanka deployed soldiers at state-run gas stations on Tuesday after at least three people died while waiting in long queues amid fuel shortages and high prices.
“Military personnel was deployed to guarantee the security in the CEYPETCO (Ceylon Petroleum Corp) petrol stations, to help employees to coordinate with the petroleum corporation and to assure public security of people in the queues,” the director of media at the defense ministry, Colonel Nalin Herath, told EFE, adding that it was a temporary measure.
A 70-year-old man died on Sunday in Kadawatha, north of the capital, while waiting in a queue to buy fuel and a 71-year-old man died in Kandy a day earlier under similar circumstances, Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror reported on Sunday.
A 29-year-old motorcyclist was also stabbed to death by another driver following an argument at a gas station in Nittambuwa on Sunday night, the newspaper reported.
Sri Lanka has been hit by severe fuel shortages for several months as a result of an acute economic crisis in the country.
Record levels of inflation amid food shortages and rising prices have forced several families to go hungry.
The island nation, which has also announced nationwide daily power cuts of up to seven hours, signed an agreement with India in early February for an urgent $500 million credit line to tackle the fuel shortages. EFE