LANKA: Sri Lankan minister says India had given alert about bombing on April 4, says the security officials failed to pick the threads

COLOMBO: India had alerted Sri Lanka about the coordinated serial bomb blasts by suicide bombers in the island nation, a Sri Lankan minister has told its parliament. Indian intelligence input was conveyed to the Sri Lankan authorities on April 4, and after this a Security Council meet was called by the Sri Lankan president, but the message was not carried to the ranks of the security forces, the minister said. 

Out of the nine suicide bombers, one was a woman, officials stated on Wednesday. The death toll in the blasts, attributed to a local terror outfit suspectedly with ISIS (Islamic State) connections. The toll stood at 359 on Wednesday. Another 500 people had been wounded in the blasts which occurred mainly at five churches during Easter Sunday prayers, and three five-star hotels including the Chinese-owned Shangri La hotel, besides at a location near the airport. Over 60 suspects have been detained.

Two bombers involved in the serial blasts were sons of a millionaire businessman dealing mainly in spices, Mohd Yusuf Ibrahim. It is believed that they detonated explosives in Shangri La and Cinnomon Grand hotels. A majority of the bombers were from well-to-do Muslim families, Sri Lanka’s defence minister Ruwan Wijevardene said. According to information collected by the government, one of the nine suicide bombers studied in the UK and likely in Australia too later. 

The United States said on Wednesday it had no prior information about the plot for bombing in Sri Lanka. — Agencies, IHN-NN


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