Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has alleged that the Islamic States (IS) has quite possibly devised a “new strategy” which targets smaller countries. Also Read - India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Talks: PM Modi Pitches For Devolution of Powers by Lankan Govt to Minority Tamils
In an interview with the Sky News, Sirisena stated that the authorities are aware of “a small group” of Sri Lankans who had travelled abroad to receive training from the IS over the past decade. Notably, the IS had claimed responsibility for the eight coordinated explosions that took place last month on Easter Sunday blasts. Also Read - Lankan Navy, Indian Ships Battling Re-ignited Fire on Board Oil Tanker
An analysis of the explosives and devices used taken into custody suggested that the bombs used in the coordinated terror attacks on April 21 were manufactured locally. The Easter Sunday suicide bombings which claimed the lives of over 250 people in Sri Lanka and injured several hundred people rattled several churches and high-end hotels across the country cities such as Colombo, Negombo, Kochchikede and Batticaloa. Also Read - Experts Join Indian Coast Guard to Control Oil Spill From Tanker on Sri Lanka Waters; Fire Brought Under Control
Meanwhile, the US issued a warning to the Sri Lankans against “more such assaults” planned by the IS and added that “there is active planning underway,” reported the state media. According to the US Embassy, the US security experts are working closely with Sri Lanka to fulfil ‘short term, specific objectives’ related to the recent attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In the wake of the attacks, Sri Lankan authorities, last week, banned two different local Islamist groups, including the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), and the splinter group Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI). These two terror outfits are said to be affiliates of the Islamic States or Daesh.
The office of Sri Lanka President, in a statement issued on Sunday, further banned all kinds of face covers, including burqas, on the security grounds post the Easter Sunday blasts.
(With agency inputs)