Sri Lanka's army on Sunday acknowledged that soldiers opened fire during a massive protest the day prior but said military personnel did not intend to cause "deliberate" harm to protestors.
"The Army categorically denies having opened fire towards the protesters, but fired a few rounds to the air and the sidewalls of the main gate entrance to the President's House compound as a deterrent," it said in a statement.
Video footage shared early Sunday showed heavily armed and masked soldiers taking aim and firing at the walls of the presidential palace, with protestors clearly visible on the other side, the Tamil Guardian website reported.
"Firing into the air and sidewalls do not therefore necessarily mean that those Army personnel on duty were intent on causing deliberate harm to the protesters," added the army statement.
The parliament speaker hours after announced that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will resign on July 13, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also expressed his willingness to step down after the formation of an all-party government.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan media outlets reported that a ship carrying 3,700 metric tons of liquefied natural gas reached the shores of the country.
The second shipment of 3,740 metric tons of LNG is scheduled to arrive on Monday, according to Sri Lanka's Presidential Secretariat.
It also said that Rajapaksa instructed officials to expedite the distribution of gas after the first ship arrived on early Sunday.
Crippled by a shortage of foreign exchange, the island nation of 22 million people has defaulted on all of its foreign debt.
Amid currency depreciation and high inflation, the country has been unable to pay for petrol and other necessities, resulting in anti-government protests. A lack of fuel for power stations has also resulted in constant power cuts. State employees have been asked to work from home, while schools are closed.
The government is negotiating a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund.