Soldiers engaged in gunfire with Sri Lanka Easter bombing suspects

Soldiers engaged in gunfire with Sri Lanka Easter bombing suspects

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

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

Sky News reports that an explosion has also taken place.

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 said 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.

-PA

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