The victim, Wasantha de Zoysa

Eight suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the murder of a nightclub owner in Anuradhapura on Saturday night, police confirmed.

Police said the arrested suspects are currently being interrogated regarding information about the attack and other individuals who had been involved.

Acting on information provided by the suspects, police have also recovered several weapons that had been used in the attack.

Police suspect the attack to have been the result of a personal dispute.

About 25 persons are thought to have been involved in the attack on the nightclub, which occurred at around 11.45pm on Saturday. The assailants, who wore masks, gloves and fertilizer bags in an effect to prevent them from being identified, had gone on a rampage inside the club, lobbing petrol bombs and beating employees with weapons they had in their possession.

The owner of the club, identified as Alexander Wasantha Wickrama De Zoysa, was attacked and killed by the mob when he tried to stop the attack. The victim was also a well-known karate instructor in the area.

Police later recovered a set of gloves, masks and fertilizer bags allegedly used by the gang dumped on the side of the road some distance from the nightclub.

Three employees of the nightclub who sustained injuries in the attack are still being treated at the Anuradhapura hospital.