The Sri Lankan Security forces have claimed that all the Islamic extremists who were involved in the Easter bombings have either been killed or arrested. The assured that the country is now safe and can go back to normalcy.
Sri Lankan police and military chiefs while addressing a press conference on Monday night, said the security of the country following the April 21 bombings that left 257 people dead has been ensured with adequate measures and steps have been taken to implement a special security plan.
Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana Wickremaratne said that all those directly linked to the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels have been arrested or were killed.
He also said that all the explosives believed to be linked to local Islamist outfit National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), blamed for the attacks, have been found.
“All explosives possessed by the terrorist group has been seized. Almost everyone identified with the group have been arrested. Two of their bomb experts have died in the clashes. The police can happily announce that everyone with direct links have been either arrested or killed by now,” Wickremaratne said.
Wickramaratne did not say how many people have been arrested over the bombings, but police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera on Monday said that 73 people, including nine women, were arrested and being questioned by the CID and the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID).
The police spokesman also said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) identified more than Rs 140 million cash and other assets worth over Rs 7 billion belonging to the NTJ.
Recently, The Chief of the Sri Lankan Army Mahesh Senanayake had said that many of the suspects involved in the Easter bombings traveled to parts of Kashmir and Kerala in India for ‘training’.
Recently, The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the bombings in Sri Lanka.
The video, purportedly from Al Ghuraba Media, which is not an official IS channel but is believed to be run by supporters of IS, featured the chilling message, “This bloody day is our reward to you.”
Then, the IS Chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appeared in a propaganda video after remaining elusive for 5 years.
He also the bombings in Sri Lanka and referred them as ‘revenge for Baghouz’.
“Your brothers in Sri Lanka have healed the hearts of monotheists [ISIL members] with their suicide bombings, which shook the beds of the crusaders during Easter to avenge your brothers in Baghouz,” he said.
Earlier, the Deputy Defence Minister of Sri Lanka had said that the attacks were carried out ‘in retaliation of Christchurch’.
“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka (on Sunday) was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” Wijewardene told parliament.
50 people were killed in New Zealand’s Christchurch in a attack on two mosques recently.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Sri Lanka has risen to 310 and more than 40 people have been arrested. on April 22, Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the bombings were carried out by a local group identified as the National Thowheed Jamaath, without elaborating on evidence.