Sri Lanka sleuths chasing Islamist bombers on the run: PM
ECONOMYNEXT – Investigators are going after members of an Islamist group that carried out deadly Easter Sunday bombings and identifying their safe houses in a bid to close the terror network, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
"There are a few people on the run, so we have to apprehend them," Wickremesinghe told foreign correspondents in Colombo.
Police had said that they are looking for a vehicle which may have explosives.
Authorities have also said that there was a bomber targeting a fourth hotel in Colombo who failed to complete the task.
Wickremesinghe said he was not aware that India had given a fresh warning of another set of attacks. India had shared specific intelligence, he said.
The Islamic State Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attack which authorities say was largely carried out by National Thowfeeth Jama’at, a radicalized group.
Site Intelligence, a unit which tracks IS communications said the group’s Amaq agency had published what they said was a group photo of the attackers.
Wickremesinghe said authorities were looking into the claim and they were suspicious of links with the IS as well as other groups.
Wickremesinghe said investigators are indentifying safe houses in a bid to close down the terror network.
"They are making progress," he said.
A source with knowledge of the investigations said the group was relatively new and members were not hardened and were revealing information under questioning.
Police have arrested over 40 members, some of whom were already known to them.
Wickremesinghe said it was known that they had links to foreign groups and the Islamic State may be one of them, but there could be others.
About 320 people have died from the bombings and over 500 have been injured. (Colombo/Apr23/2019-SB)