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Sri Lanka attacks: Suicide bomber detonates vest during police raids; cops seize explosives, Islamic State banner

Colombo: Shooting erupted between security forces and a group of men in eastern Sri Lanka during a search and cordon operation related to the Easter Sunday attacks, a military spokesman said.

The raid took place in the town of Ampara Sainthamaruthu near Batticaloa. The spokesman said there was an explosion in the area and when soldiers went to investigate they were fired upon. No details of casualties were immediately available.

 Sri Lanka attacks: Suicide bomber detonates vest during police raids; cops seize explosives, Islamic State banner

Sri Lankan firefighters stand in the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, on Sunday. AP

A police spokesman said that at least one suicide bomber blew himself up during the shootout in the coastal town, 325 kilometers from Colombo.

Police said they have seized a large haul of explosives, a drone and a banner with the Islamic State logo.

"Garbs similar to those which were worn in the video displaying Islamic State members in Sri Lanka, along with an identical Islamic State backdrop in the video was discovered during the raid," a police official said.

Since the suicide bombings on churches and hotels in which more than 250 people were killed, police have been conducting raids across the country to find more details about the perpetrators and their supporters. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Police are trying to track down 140 people believed linked to Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings of churches and hotels that killed 253 people, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday.

Curfew has been imposed in Samanthurai, Kalmunai and Chawalakade areas until further notice.

With inputs from agencies and 101Reporters

 

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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2019 22:02:42 IST