RIYADH: Sri Lankan women in the Kingdom who want to go home for their Eid holidays are panicking over recent incidents in the country caused by night prowlers dubbed "grease devils."
A grease devil is a thief who wears only underwear and covers his body in grease to make himself hard to grab if pursued.
Panic over midnight assaults by the alleged grease devils is rising across rural Sri Lanka, leading to the deaths of at least three people last week. This has prompted women to stay indoors and men to arm themselves, police and local media said.
At least seven were wounded fighting with police outside the navy base in Kinniya after hundreds of mainly Muslim residents in the eastern coastal area demanded soldiers hand over two men who tried to abduct a 28-year-old Muslim woman the night before. The incidents are happening mainly in areas where there is a concentration of minority communities such as Muslims and Tamils.
According to police, incidents relating to grease devils were reported in Badulla, Mahiyangana, Girandurukotte, Rambewa, Siyabalanduwa, Alawathugoda, Kantale, Ampara, Nuwara Eliya, Hasalaka, Ridimaliyedda, Bibile, Nawalapitiya, Kinniya, Muttur and Pottuvil.
Rashika, a housewife who was going to Sri Lanka for her son's wedding, told Arab News that she would not travel outside Colombo to give wedding invitations to her relatives living in rural areas because of the panic.
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