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Wife of Sri Lankan bombings ringleader among survivors of fatal raid

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Police in Sri Lanka has said that the wife of the suspected ringleader of the Easter bombings was among the survivors of a police raid in which 15 people died.

Police said that 15 people, including six children, died during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces as three cornered suicide bombers blew themselves up and 12 others were shot dead.

Police said that the wife of Mohammed Zaharan, the man believed to have led the suicide bombings that left more than 250 people dead in the capital Colombo, survived the raid with her four-year-old daughter.

The father and two brothers of the suspected ringleader were also among the 15 killed during the raid on a house in eastern Sri Lanka on Friday night.

Police said they had since arrested other 48 suspects, including the brother of two of the suicide bombers, in island-wide searches over the weekend.

“The brother was found hiding in a house close to where the suicide bombers lived in the Colombo suburb of Dematagoda. Their parents are also in custody.

“Two more persons directly involved in the bombings and their family members have been arrested,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.

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Two local extremist groups with foreign links have been accused of the bombings, and local intelligence agencies believe that the militants involved in the attacks were trained by foreigners.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a statement that armed forces and police continued to find more weapons and explosives, and arrest people with links to the Easter Sunday bombings.

The coordinated bombing occurred in three churches, three luxury tourist hotels and two other locations in the country.

A military spokesman said no military personnel or police suffered any casualties in the Friday raid on a house in Samanthurai, 364 km east of the capital.

Islamic State had previously claimed that 17 police officers were killed or wounded by the extremist group’s militants on its Amaq mouthpiece.

A curfew was enforced in Samanthurai and two surrounding areas to facilitate security operations.

A night curfew, which has been introduced in the rest of the country, will not be imposed on Sunday, police said. (NAN)

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