Sri Lankan forces raid ISIS bomb factory sparking massive gun and suicide bomb battle leaving 15 dead including six children

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SRI Lankan security forces last night found 15 bodies including six children after a fierce raid on an ISIS-linked bomb factory connected to Easter Sunday’s terror attacks.

A raging gun and suicide bomb battle broke out after Sri Lanka’s military stormed the jihadists’ hideout in the coastal town of Sammanthurai – 200 miles from the capital Colombo.

A gun battle raged last night when special forces swooped on a suicide bomb factory
A gun battle raged last night when special forces swooped on a suicide bomb factory linked to Sri Lanka’s Easter attacks
Jihadi uniforms were thought to be found along with the death cult's black flag
Jihadi uniforms are said to have been found along with the death cult’s black flag

Authorities said the militants detonated three bombs and opened fire after soldiers acting on a police tip-off stormed the house.

One civilian was killed and police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said at least three others were wounded in the attack.

A child caught in the crossfire was admitted to hospital.

Military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said after coming under fire, “troops retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been stored.”

He said the militants were suspected members of the domestic Islamist group National Towheed Jama’at (NTJ) – which has been blamed for last Sunday’s attacks.

Raids and police curfews shut down areas of eastern Sri Lanka as Catholic leaders cancelled Sunday Masses indefinitely.

The extraordinary move is believed to be the first time the Catholic church had cancelled Masses across a country for security reasons.

Officials also urged Muslims to stay home for prayers amid the fear of more attacks on the besieged island.

DEADLY HAUL FOUND

Security forces had recovered explosives, detonators, “suicide kits,” military uniforms and ISIS flags in the ongoing raids in Eastern Province on this morning.

Officers acting on information from intelligence officials also found 150 sticks of blasting gelatin and 100,000 small metal balls.

Suicide bomb vests often are packed with such balls to increase the shrapnel in the explosion – making them even deadlier.

A van and clothing suspected to be used by those involved in the Easter attack were also found.

MORE BOMBINGS FEARED

Authorities including the country’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are warning that militants remain on the loose and have access to explosives.

Since the suicide bombings on churches and hotels – where more than 250 people were killed including eight Britons – security forces have been conducting raids across Sri Lanka.

The government has said nine homegrown, well-educated suicide bombers carried out the Easter Sunday attacks – eight of whom had been identified. One was a woman.


They are trying to track down 140 people believed linked to ISIS.

Police have detained at least 76 people – including foreigners from Syria and Egypt.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, while Sri Lankan authorities say local jihadi groups with links to ISIS are responsible.

Security forces raided a suspected bomb factory in the Eastern Province town of Sammanthurai last night
Officers uncovered a stash of bomb-making gear
Officers uncovered a stash of bomb-making gear
The findings included bags containing 100,000 ball bearings
The findings included bags containing 100,000 ball bearings
Fertiliser, a substance used to create bombs, was also amongst the stash
Fertiliser, a substance used to create bombs, was also amongst the stash
There are 10,000 troops searching the country for suspected ISIS jihadis
There are 10,000 troops searching the country for suspected ISIS jihadis
Getty Images – Getty

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