Sri Lanka sent troops and elite police to central Kandy district and imposed a curfew there on Monday to prevent clashes between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims after a mob set fire to a Muslim-owned shop.

Renewed tension has been growing between the two communities since last year, with some hard line Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalizing Buddhist archaeological sites.

Elite Police were deployed in Teldeniya in Kandy district 160 km (99 miles) from the capital Colombo to control unrest after the attack on a Muslim-owned shop late on Sunday.