• Monday, Oct 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

15 die as Sri Lanka forces raid Islamist hideout

  • Published at 03:55 am April 27th, 2019
Sri Lanka-terror attack-bomb blast
Police officers work at the scene at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019 Reuters

The raid followed a series of suicide bomber attacks that killed more 250 people on April 21

Fifteen people, including six children, died during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces as three cornered suicide bombers blew themselves up and others were shot dead, police said Saturday.

The three men set off explosives killing three women and six children inside what was believed to an Islamist safe house near the eastern town of Kalmunai Friday night, police said.

"Three other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the house," police said in a statement.

Police backed by troops exchanged fire with those inside the house for over an hour, a military official said, adding that the bodies were recovered early Saturday following a search operation.

Gunmen opened fire on troops when they attempted to storm the house under cover of darkness, military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said adding that a civilian had got caught in the crossfire and died.


Also Read- Sri Lanka lowers attacks toll to 253 as some 'double-counted'


The joint operation was carried out following a tip off that those responsible for the Easter suicide bombings were holed up in a built up area of Kalmunai, 370km east of the capital.

The clashes came hours after the security forces raided a nearby location where they believe Islamist radicals recorded a video pledge to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before carrying out the deadly Easter bombings.

Police said they found an Islamic State flag and uniforms similar to those worn by the eight fighters for the video before they launched Sunday's attacks against three luxury hotels and three churches, killing 253.

"We have found the backdrop the group used to record their video," the police said in an earlier statement on Friday night.

The Islamic State group had released the video two days after the attack.

Police showed the clothing and the flag on national television, as well as some 150 sticks of dynamite and about 100,000 ball bearings seized from the house.

Security forces armed with emergency powers have stepped up search operations for Islamic extremists responsible for the bombings.

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