Colombo: At least four people, including an advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, were killed on Saturyda in a shootout during Sri Lanka's violence-marred local government elections, forcing the authorities to impose curfew just outside the capital.

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, an aide of Rajapaksa and a former ruling party lawmaker, was killed in a shootout following clashes between two factions of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance in Kotikawatta, a north Colombo suburb.

Three others, including a bodyguard of Premachandra, was also killed in the shootout.
   
Among the ten injured are Duminda Silva, a member of Parliament who suffered serious head injuries and was admitted to the intensive care unit in a critical condition.

Kotikawatta local council was one of the 23 councils which went to polls on Saturaday in the last phase of the local government election began in March.

A curfew has been imposed in the area following the shoot out, police spokesman Maxi Proctor said.

Election monitors said the polling was between 55 to 60 per cent.

Over 50 incidents of election malpractise, including intimidation of voters and illegal propaganda work, were reported, the monitors said.

Over 1.5 millions voters were eligible to vote to elect 420 members for a four-year term. The results are expected to be announced on Sunday.

The elections are seen as a mid-term test for Rajapaksa, who has tightened his grip on power by following his landslide victory in the presidential and polls last year.

(Agencies)