Sri Lanka attacks: mastermind behind terror bombings killed in one of the blasts

The suspected mastermind of the Sri Lanka bombings died in one of the assaults on a resort, the nation’s president stated at this time.

Radical cleric Zahran Hashim, the chief of an area extremist group, was one of the attackers killed in the blasts at the Shangri-La resort, President Maithripala Sirisena revealed.

He stated Hashim led the assault on the widespread vacationer resort, accompanied by a second bomber recognized as “Ilham”. The announcement got here after claims that the extremist preacher was nonetheless at massive, with official warnings of an imminent new assault on the island.

Hashim was stated to be amongst 9 suicide bombers who carried out the assaults on resorts and church buildings which killed round 250 folks on Easter Sunday, together with eight Britons.

He appeared in a video launched by Islamic State in which seven males — considered some of the bombers— pledged allegiance to it. Hashim was the solely one to indicate his face. 1000’s of British vacationers have been at this time planning to go away Sri Lanka after the Overseas Workplace suggested towards non-essential journey to the nation. Many honeymooners have been amongst these being pressured to cancel journeys.

Police stated that they had additionally arrested the terror group’s second in command and that army coaching was offered by somebody they known as “Army Mohideen”, with weapons coaching going down abroad.

Mr Sirisena stated that intelligence providers have been seeking to arrest round 140 suspects linked to IS in Sri Lanka. Yesterday it emerged that one of the bombers studied aerospace engineering at Kingston College in London for a 12 months in 2006 and 2007. The sister of Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed stated that he had been radicalised whereas later finishing a postgraduate course in Australia.

The risk continues to be very actual: Islamic State launched this video of the eight males it says allegedly carried out the Sri Lanka bombings (AFP/Getty Photos)

There was heavy safety on the streets of the capital Colombo at this time after the warnings of additional assaults. In an unusually particular warning, the US embassy in Sri Lanka stated locations of worship could possibly be hit by extremists this weekend. Many of the attackers got here from well-educated, middle-class households and have been members of two little-known extremist teams, based on junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene.

Police in Colombo have detained 58 folks over the bombings. Sri Lanka yesterday revised down the demise toll by greater than 100, to “about 253”. The well being ministry blamed a calculation error and the issue in figuring out victims.

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