Days after series of bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on easter Sunday, three explosions rocked Kalmunai city in east Sri Lanka on Friday, sources have informed. The explosion took place when the security forces were carrying out searches as a part of investigation of Easter Sunday attacks. However, no casualities have been reported till Saturday morning.
Sri Lankan police informed that during the raids they recovered Islamic state uniforms, ISIS flags, 150 gelignite sticks, 100,000 ball bearings and a drone camera in Sammanthurai,reported the international media.
The bomb blasts on Easter Sunday hit three churches- St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa, three hotels - the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury and two other places - Dematagoda and Dehiwala on Sunday killing over 200 people and injuring several hundred more. Nine suicide bombers carried out these devastating blasts.
The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government has blamed a local Islamist extremist group National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) for the attacks.The president of Sri Lanka Mathripala Sirisena also confirmed that Sri Lankan Islamist extremist Zahran Hashim, the leader of the NTJ, died in the blast at the Shangri-La hotel. Hashim led the attack on the hotel and was accompanied by a second bomber, Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim.
On the other hand, the President of Sri Lanka appealed to the island nation not to view its minority Muslim community as terrorists in the wake of the attacks.
Sirisena said despite the attacks, the island's nine per cent Muslim minority must not be regarded terrorists.
"We looked into banning the NTJ but we do not have laws to do that right now. We have to draft new laws. We will get this done soon. Information is that around 130-140 ISIS suspects are in the country. Around 70 are arrested, we will arrest them all very soon ending this (terror)," Sirisena added.
Police said that over 70 suspects, including five women, have been arrested as the Lankan authorities have intensified their search operations with the help of the army.
(with agency inputs)