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Presidential elections kicked off in Sri Lanka on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The state is still struggling with the consequences of the deadly attacks that thundered during Easter in hotels and churches and shaken the country's economy, which mainly relies on the tourism sector.

The main rivals for the presidency are former defense chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and government minister Sajith Premadasa.

Rajapaksa promised to strengthen national security, while Premadasa promises free housing, a school uniform and sanitary towels for women.

Votes will be counted shortly after the close of polling stations, but the results will not be announced until Sunday.

Muslims, who make up about 10% of the population of the island nation, complain about the hostility encountered after the Easter bombings, leaving 250 people killed.

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