Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruan Wijewardane told reporters in Colombo on Wednesday that the Easter Sunday bomb attack on churches and star hotels in Colombo and elsewhere was carried out by a breakiaway faction of the National Towheed Jamaath and its leader was among the 359 died in the serial blasts.
The Minister based his claim from information gathered from over 100 persons arrested by security forces . He said the failure of the security apparatus to act on intelligence tipoff from many countries, including India, about the targeted attack on Christians, would also be probed into.
The Islamic State which has claimed responsibility for the co-ordinated blasts in Sri Lanka, has released images of three men in Arabian dress taking a oath before undertaking the suicide mission. Prime Minister Ranil Wickeramsinghe has said investigation to find out the extent of National Towheed’s foreign links.
The Defence Minister said The Minister said that among the dead, 39 were foreigners. They were those staying in the three star hotels in Colombo which came under attack during breakfast time on Sunday.
The Indian High Commission has confirmed that ten Indian nationals were killed in the attack, eight of thrm from Karnataka. Of these seven were part of a team of Janata Dal (S) on a vacation in Colombo. While six JD(S) workers died on Monday, a seventh member Puttaraju(37) succumbed in hospital on Tuesday. Another Indian, businessman Nagaraj Reddy(46) also died in hospital.
The tenth victim has been identified as Vemuyuri Tulsi Ram(35) from Hyderabad. He was killed in the attack on Shangri-la Hotel.