Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Gun battle in Sri Lanka kills 15, United States pulls citizens out

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to the BBC Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to the BBC
Patty Aguilar | 28 April, 2019, 14:57

Sri Lankan security forces exchanged gunfire with an armed group in Kalmunai in the eastern region of the country.

Fifteen people including six children have died during a Sri Lankan security forces operation in the aftermath of the Easter attacks, as three cornered suicide bombers blew themselves up and others were shot dead, police said on Saturday.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara gave the figures today after a gunfight between soldiers and the suspected militants near Sammanthurai.

Police quoted by local media said 10 arrests were made across the country on Friday bringing the number detained since last Sunday to 80.

The Sri Lankan government still has in place strict security protocols leaving many shops closed and the streets empty.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, held a solemn special mass from a church adjacent to his house that was broadcast live across local television and radio.

Police said the dead also included three women, believed to be militants' family members, as well as civilians likely caught in the cross fire.

The dramatic and deadly confrontation came amid a nationwide security crackdown and intensive searches for suspects in numerous locations, as police warned of possible further attacks and used new emergency powers to stop and question individuals and raid homes and other sites.

Why the warnings went unheeded is the subject of intense public debate, with some blaming the dismantling of a system built by former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa for rapid response to rebel activity during Sri Lanka's long civil war.

Britney Spears checks out of mental health facility, reports say
She added: "You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want!" "Love you (sic)", Spears wrote. I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that's happening is just making it harder for me.

Sri Lanka bombings: Gun battle as police step up raids
Countries including the United Kingdom have issued travel warnings and much of Colombo remained on lockdown yesterday with a... Zahran Hashmi, center, the man Sri Lanka says led the Easter attack that killed over 300 people, as well as other attackers.

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Kei Nishikori has returned to form in Barcelona , but he was denied a place alongside Thiem in the final by the battling Medvedev. They had last faced off in the US Open quarterfinals, which Nadal won in a deciding fifth set tiebreaker.

'This is a time our hearts are tested by the great destruction that took place last Sunday, ' Mr Ranjith said. He asked the faithful across Sri Lanka to stay home for their own safety.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has banned the National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and another radical group suspected to be behind the Easter Sunday explosions, which killed over 250 people and injured 500, the President's Office said in a statement.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo urged people to "remain vigilant and avoid large crowds", on its official Twitter account. Twenty were arrested in the past 24 hours alone, they said.

News agency PTI quoted, "Six children among 15 killed in raids on terror hideouts in Sri Lanka, say police".

Mr Sirisena said about 140 people had been identified as having links to the IS.

Fifteen people were killed in the confrontation, almost all of them in three bomb blasts that ripped holes in the roof and wall of the house and left behind charred remains.

On Thursday night, Sri Lanka's Health Ministry drastically reduced its estimated death toll from the bombings.

Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing 253 people.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombings on the Buddhist-majority country, which would be one of the worst attacks carried out by the group outside Iraq and Syria.

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