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COLOMBO: Shots were fired from inside the Sri Lankan prime minister's official residence Monday, as thousands of protesters breached the main gate and torched a parked truck, an AFP reporter said.

Police also fired tear gas to push back protesters retaliating against an attack on them earlier in the day by those loyal to the outgoing premier Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Police sources confirmed that shots were fired in the air to prevent the mob breaching the inner security ring of the residence where Rajapaksa, who resigned as premier earlier in the day, was still holed up with several loyalists.

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