Sri Lankan military in gun battle with Easter bombing suspects as huge cache of explosives found

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“There is strong likelihood that the decapitated head of the suicide bomber at Shangri La was the same person we identified in the photographs…” he added. “However, we cannot be absolutely certain.”

Sri Lankan officials have made claims and counterclaims in the chaotic aftermath of Sunday’s atrocities as security forces rush to detain suspects and the government reels from failures to act on warnings that bombings were imminent.

Security agencies are also trying to track down hauls of explosives, some of which may have been left over from Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war.

President Sirisena told reporters in Colombo that some 140 people had been been identified as having links to the Islamic State group, although he reassured the public that the Sri Lankan government has “the capability to completely control ISIS activities”.

The government has apologised for its failure to act on precise and repeated alerts from India named that suspects who were planning to attack local churches. Sri Lanka’s Catholic leader said he felt “betrayed” by the failure to act on warnings that could have prevented the bloodshed. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, said he had asked for an explanation, but not received an answer.



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