20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 25°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 27°C
  • 10°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 30°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 6°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 16°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 17°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 12°C

Sri Lanka troops join hunt for bomb attack suspects

Police said about 75 people were now being interrogated in connection with the deadliest attack against civilians in the country’s history.

FILE: Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo on 21 April 2019. Picture: AFP.

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka deployed thousands of additional troops countrywide overnight to help police hunt for suspects in the Easter Sunday suicide blasts that killed nearly 360 people, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said the army increased its deployment by 1,300 to 6,300, with the navy and air force also deploying 2,000 more personnel.

“We are armed with powers to search, seize, arrest and detain under emergency regulations,” Atapattu told AFP.

“We are involved in static guard duties, patrolling and helping with cordon-and-search operations.”

The government also announced a ban on all drone flights and said licences issued to all commercial operators were suspended with immediate effect.

Police said they arrested another 16 suspects overnight with alleged ties to the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) extremist group accused of the blasts at three churches and three luxury hotels.

Police said about 75 people were now being interrogated in connection with the deadliest attack against civilians in the country’s history.

Sri Lankan authorities are also investigating a security failure to act on prior information about the impending Easter bombings by the NTJ.

President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the minister of defence and law and order, on Tuesday, vowed a major security shake-up with pledges to remove the heads of the police and armed forces “within 24 hours”, but there were no changes by Thursday morning.

Recriminations have flown since Sunday’s attacks and the country remained tense with many shops and offices closed and motorists staying off the roads.

Sirisena is due to meet with leaders of all political parties as well as religious leaders in two separate meetings on Thursday to discuss the situation.

Sunday’s bomb attacks were the first in the country since the Tamil insurgency ended almost 10 years ago in May 2009.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus