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Easter attackers were contract killers – Hakeem

In an unexpected twist, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem claimed today that the Easter Sunday attackers were carrying out a contract for a third party and were not ordered to do so by the Islamic State (IS).

At an event held in Ulapane today (24), Hakeem said “someone hired Zaharan’s group to carry out the killing.”

Seven suicide bombers struck three churches and three five-star hotels on Easter Sunday killing more than 250 people and plunging Sri Lanka into crisis.

Police say the attack was carried out by the extremist National Thowheed Jamaat led by fiery preacher Zaharan Hashmi.

Hakeem who is a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the attacks said: “someone from this group telephoned Islamic State and asked them to take responsibility for the attack.”

“That is why ISIS claimed the attacks two days after the strike,” he added.

He also alleged that ISIS is an organisation created by Western powers for their purpose and to get their hands on oil wells in Saudi Arabia.

“It is the Muslim countries like Lybia, Syria, and Iraq that have been destroyed by the ISIS. They have destroyed thousands of mosques and killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims,” said Hakeem.

The ex-Minister also pointed out that the media had created panic and fear among the people by showing knives and swords taken from Muslim homes and now some of them don’t even have a knife to cut a piece of bread in their homes.

“Unless we change the media culture we would never have peace in this country,” he added.

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