Sri Lanka bombing updates:Bomber safehouses raided; 15 dead

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By JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL
April 29, 2019

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At least 15 suspected militants were killed when they blew themselves up inside their safehouse after government troops in Sri Lanka conducted a follow up raid.

The raid took place in Sainthamaruthu, a place which is very near to the hometown of the suspected bombing mastermind who led the attacks on hotels and churches on Easter Sunday that killed more than 250 churchgoers and hotel guests.

The police said, armed militants opened fire when government soldiers attempted to raid a house of suspected bombers. Then they set of explosives which resulted to the deaths of three women and children.

The police have also identified one civilian who was reportedly caught in the crossfire.

Television footages have shown charred bodies, a drone, explosives, a rifle, a generator and batteries inside the house. 

During a separate raid, government troopers recovered 150 sticks of gelignite explosive, a drone camera, IS flags, thousands of steel pellets.

Based on accounts made by local media outlets, there were already more than 70 arrests carried out by police authorities and those detained persons suspected of taking part in the Easter Sunday bombings now reached over a hundred.

Sri Lankan president Sirisena told members of the media that they have the arrests of 130 suspects linked to IS and still hunting for 70 more suspects who were in the country to carry out bombings. 

Who were the bombers on Easter Sunday?

Credit to the video owners

Sri Lankan president Sirisena has confirmed that the alleged ring leader who carried out the attacks on hotels and churches was a certain Zahran Hashim, who also died during the bombing of Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. At least 9 people were suspected of carrying out the attacks based on intel reports.

Intelligence reports and investigations have it that two of the alleged bombers are said to be sons of a wealthy spice trader in the country identified as Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim. He was one of Sri Lanka's richest men. The government invited him for questioning and also detained him after the attacks.

One of Ibrahim's sons was allegedly the suspect who bombed Shangri-La hotel accompanied by ring leader. His other son also carried out the bombing of a high end Cinnamon Grand hotel, which is only a walking distance.

Ibrahim's daughter in law reportedly detonated the bomb that blew them up during a government raid at the family's villa reportedly to avoid arresting police officers who conducted the raid. Some police officers, women and children were killed in the blast.


 


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