One more explosion reported: Sri Lanka releases names of terrorists

Colombo, Apr 25:

The intelligence wing of the Lankan police came out with names of seven ultras who unleashed horror in the peaceful island nation.

Abu Ubaida, Abu al-Mukhtar, Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu al-Barra, Abu Muhammad and Abu Abdullah are the seven suicide bombers who carried out the deadly Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka according to the intelligence department of the island nation.

In the meantime, a minor explosion has occurred in the Pugoda town, about 40km east of the capital Colombo, police and local residents said on Thursday. This led to panic among the public.

However, no casualties were reported in the blast near a magistrate court. Police said they were investigating the explosion, which came at a time of high tension in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 359 people.

The government earlier said the attackers involved in the attacks were mostly well-educated and one of them had studied in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The brothers who carried out suicide bombings, Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim and Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim, are members of one of the wealthiest Muslim families in the capital, with connections to the country’s business and political elite.

Police spokesman Rohan Gunasekara confirmed there were nine bombers involved in the attacks, including the wife of one of the bombers who blew herself up when security forces raided their home in the south of the capital. Eight of the bombers had been identified, he added.

Some 60 people have been arrested and 32 were in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department, while the others were held at local police stations, he said.

The commander said the Easter Sunday attacks should be a wake-up call to the government. A series of coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday rocked Sri Lanka killing more than 350 people.

At least 500 people have been wounded in the deadliest attack in the island nation since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.

The blasts targeted three churches, as well as four hotels – including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and the Cinnamon Grand – in the capital Colombo. Nearly all victims were Sri Lankan. Dozens of foreigners were also killed.

Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency from midnight Monday in the wake of the deadly Easter blasts that killed 359 people and wounded more than 500 others, enhancing the counter terrorism powers of the security forces.

The decision was made during a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena.

The NSC has announced plans to impose a “conditional state of emergency” from midnight, said a statement from the president’s media unit.

A Sri Lankan newspaper, quoting intelligence reports, said that 160 terrorists have intruded into the island nation and that they all belonged to the outfit called National Towheed Jamath.

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