The father and two brothers of the suspected mastermind of Sri Lankaâ€™s Easter Sunday bombings were killed two days ago, police sources and a relative of the suicide bombers told Reuters on Sunday.
According to the report, Rilwan Hashim, Zainee Hashim, and their father Mohamed Hashim were among 15 killed in a fierce gun battle with the military on the east coast on Friday. They were seen in a video circulating on social media calling for all-out war against nonbelievers.
Reuters: Father, two brothers of #SriLanka suicide bombings mastermind killed during gun battle on east coast on Friday - relative, police sourcesâ€” ANI (@ANI) April 28, 2019
15 people were killed when militants linked to the Easter Sunday attacks opened fire and blew themselves up during a fierce gun battle with security forces in Sri Lanka's Eastern province.
The shootout occurred as the security forces continued their hunt for members of the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the local terror outfit behind the April 21 coordinated blasts in which 253 people were killed and over 500 injured.
Meanwhile, the police said that curfew imposed in the Muslim-majority areas of Kalmunai, Chavalakade and Sammanthurai would continue until further notice.
At least 76 people have been arrested by the police in connection with the attack so far. Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing 253 people.
The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group NTJ for the attacks. President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday that over 130 suspects linked to the Islamic State terror group have been operating in the country.
With PTI Inputs