Colombo, Apr 27: After an extreme overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, left bodies of 15 people including six children dead during a Sri Lankan security forces operation.
The raid came, following a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, which left more than 250 people dead.
The security forces have stepped up their searches for extremists on Friday evening in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four luxury hotels.
According to Straits Times, three suspected suicide bombers, three women and six children were among the 15 dead after the shootout inside a jihadist safe house near the eastern town of Kalmunai on Friday night.
Three other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the house," police said in a statement, adding that they had been shot.
Authorities have so far focused their investigations on international links to two domestic groups they believe carried out the attacks, NTJ and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.
They have detained at least 76 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, in their investigations so far. Twenty were arrested in the past 24 hours alone, the police said. (UNI)