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A tense situation has been reported near the Matara Town following a clash between UNP supporters during a protest march demanding that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe step down from party leadership.

At least seven persons have been reported injured, one critically, following a shooting incident during the protest.

The protest against Wickramasinghe, led by Provincial Councilors Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilaka - who were both sacked from the party, commenced from Devinuwara in Matara this morning and is heading towards Colombo.

Meanwhile a demonstration led by MP Mangala Samaraweera in support of the UNP leader began from Wellamadama today.

It is reported that the clash occurred as both demonstrations neared the Matara Town and that shots were fired during the tense situation.

The Matara Hospital confirmed that 7 persons have been admitted to the hospital with injuries sustained in the clash and that one of them is in critical condition.

It is said that a clash between both factions had previously occurred this morning in the Dewundara area and that a bus was also damaged after it was attacked by a group of supporters.

However, the situation has been brought under control due to the intervention of security personnel.