Safe house bombs kill 15 in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan authorities have reportedly found the bodies of 15 people following an intense firefight between security forces and militants connected with the Easter bombings on Friday evening.
Investigators were tipped off to a safe house which allegedly held militants, on the coastal city of Sainthamaruthu, 321km from the capital Colombo.
Local media are reporting that as specialist teams raided the property on Friday evening, the militant group opened fire and a gunfight broke out.
Soon after the fighting commenced, three bombs were detonated, killing six men, three women and six children.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told reporters that some of the dead were "likely militant suicide bombers".
Several people were injured in the attack, including a woman and a child, who were found in a serious condition.
Four of the bodies are believed to be militants but Mr Gunasekara said investigations were continuing to identify the remaining bodies. One civilian died in the crossfire.
During the raid, police located uniforms emblazoned with the death cult's black flag, 150 dynamite sticks, batteries, huge amounts of ball bearings and a drone were also uncovered.
Authorities surmised these were being stored to make suicide bombs by the militants.
Sri Lanka is currently in lockdown after the East Sunday bombings that targeted churches and hotels and claimed the lives of at least 250 people.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, with the government responding by imposing a strict curfew across the city and patrolling the streets.
Since Easter, authorities have also instructed told Muslims to pray at home, rather than attend communal Friday prayers, which is one of the most important public rituals in the Islamic faith.
President Maithripala Sirisena issued a statement informing the Sri Lankan people that his security forces will go door-to-door, searching for terrorists.
"Every household in the country will be checked," he said.
"The lists of permanent residents of every house will be established to ensure no unknown persons could live anywhere."
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