Sri Lanka security forces (Photo Credit: Twitter/ @DDNewsLive)
As many as 15 people, including six children and three women, were killed on Friday late night after several suicide bombers blew themselves up during a shootout with security forces in Sri Lanka's Eastern province.
In a statement, the Sri Lankan police said, "A total of 15 bodies recovered, six men, three women and six children. At least four suspected suicide bombers are dead and three others who were injured are in hospital."
This comes hours after the security council meeting. In the meeting, the authorities decided that search operations to crackdown on extremist terrorism must continue until the threat is completely eliminated.
In the meantime, the US State Department raised the level of its travel warning for Sri Lanka, urging citizens to reconsider visiting the island in the wake of a devastating series of suicide bombings that killed more than 250 people.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka's Catholic leader has said that he felt "betrayed" by the government's failure to act on warnings that could have prevented the Easter bombings, adding that services would not resume until security could be guaranteed.
However, the Sri Lankan government admitted major lapses over the foreign intelligence warning that radical Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) was planning suicide bombings on churches.
On April 11, Sri Lanka's police chief issued an alert based on the intelligence. Neither the prime minister nor other top ministers were among the recipients. At least 253 people died and over 500 injured after the attackers blew themselves up at three churches, including two Catholic ones, and three hotels in coordinated blasts.
The Islamic State (IS) claimed the attacks, but the Sri Lankan government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamath (NTJ) for the series of attacks. The security forces continue their hunt for members of NTJ.