Sri Lankan soldiers in gun battle with suspects after Easter Sunday attacks

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Sri Lankan soldiers in gun battle with suspects after Easter Sunday attacks

The confrontation was taking place in Sammanthurai, 200 miles from Colombo.


Sri Lankans security forces officers in Colombo (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)
Sri Lankans security forces officers in Colombo (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Sri Lankan soldiers have exchanged gunfire with suspects after attempting to raid a building in the country’s Eastern Province as part of the ongoing investigation into the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks.

Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said a gun battle was under way in the coastal town of Sammanthurai, 200 miles from the capital, Colombo.

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A Sri Lankan Army soldier stands guard in front St Anthony’s Church (Manish Swarup/AP)

Local militants with ties to the Islamic State group conducted a series of suicide bombings on Easter Sunday at churches and luxury hotels in and around Colombo and in the distant seaside village of Batticaloa.

The health ministry says about 250 people were killed.

Sri Lanka has remained on edge as authorities have pursued suspects with possible access to explosives.

Catholic Masses in the capital Colombo have been suspended until further notice with fears of further attacks on the community.

“We don’t want repetitions,” said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

Meanwhile police are providing patrols to protect Muslims who are fearful of reprisal attacks after the Islamic State group claimed the atrocity.

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Press Association

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