Terrorism, narcotics inter-linked: Sri Lankan Prez

Terrorism, narcotics inter-linked: Sri Lankan Prez

Agency News

Colombo, Apr 26: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday that terrorists who carried out the Easter blasts have a link to drug trade.

The president told a press conference in Colombo that the attacks may have been carried out sooner than planned due to his anti-drug campaign. Sirisena said, "Let's not forget the connection between the war against narcotics and terrorism."

Under the directive of the president, Sri Lanka has launched a nationwide anti-drug campaign in recent months. And the president has vowed to free the country from the drug menace by 2020, Xinhua reported.

Speaking of the link between local extremist group and the Islamic State (IS), Sirisena said so far Sri Lankan authorities have found out about 140 people were linked to the IS group and more than 70 of them had been arrested. Hunting has been ongoing for the rest.

After Sri Lanka's former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has resigned on Thursday, Sirisena said he would appoint a new defense secretary soon.

The president said terrorism will be wiped out from Sri Lanka soon. "We will soon restore normalcy. International agencies are here assisting us in the probe," he said.

A string of bombs exploded in hotels and churches across Sri Lanka on Sunday. According to the latest number from Sri Lanka's Health Ministry, the blasts have killed about 250 people. (UNI)