Sri Lanka plans to round up IS-linked extremists in a short time: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to round Islamist extremists numbering over 130 who carried out devastating bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in a short time. President Maithripala Sirisena said.

"Very good progress is being made," Sirisena flanked by military chief Mahesh Senanayake told reporters Friday.

"We plan to end their activities here in a short time."

The leader of the group, Zahran Hashim, is believed to have died in the attack along with another suicide bomber, he said.

Extreme members of two groups calling itself National Thowheed Jamath and Jamiyathul Millatu Ibrahim fi Seilani had been involved in the attacks, officials said.

Some in the group had direct links with Islamic State, an extremist organization that had claimed responsibility, officials said.

Sri Lanka was tipped off by India that an extremist Islamist group was planning to attack churches but no action was taken.

President Sirisena said his government accepted responsibility and said neither the Police Chief nor the Defence Secretary had told him, nor had the Prime Minister.

President has asked both the Defence Secretary and Police Chief to resign.

"People are saying I went abroad, but if they had called me on the phone, I would have come back," he said.





"When I asked why I was not informed, there was no answer." (Colombo/Apr26/2019-SB)

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