Three explosions hit Kalmunai city of Sri Lanka on Friday after last week's terror attacks
On April 23 news broke that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had claimed responsibility for a series of horrifying suicide bombings that killed over 300 people. The country was still reeling from the deaths and loss of people amid the immense damage when, last night (April 26th), the bodies of 15 people, including six children, were discovered at the site of a fierce overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said on Saturday. Two suspected Islamic State gunmen and a civilian were killed in the shootout.
The gun battle near Sainthamaruthu in Ampara began Friday night after police tipped off soldiers to a suspected safe house, where militants set off three explosions triggering fire, the military said. Close to 10,000 soldiers were deployed across the Indian Ocean island state to carry out searches and provide security for religious centres and the authorities are still on the search for 140 people who are believed to be linked to ISIS suicide bombings from last Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks; a cache of explosives was seized from a house in Samanthurai, following a raid on intelligence information, police said. Security forces also found ISIS uniforms, flags, 150 sticks of explosive Gelignite, 100,000 ball bearings and a drone camera.
Sri Lanka's former wartime defence chief, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said he would run for president in elections this year and would stop the spread of Islamist extremism by rebuilding the intelligence service and surveilling citizens.