Colombo: Sri Lanka on Saturday banned National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI) groups responsible for terror attacks which were carried out in the country on Easter.

Sri Lankan President’s media division released a statement saying: “President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, in terms of powers vested in him as the under Emergency Regulations No.01 of 2019, has taken steps to ban the organisations National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI) in Sri Lanka after Easter blasts.”

Earlier on Saturday, the Sri Lankan security forces raided a safe house of Islamic State-affiliated militants in the east of the country and killed at least two men in an exchange of fire. With this, the death toll of terrorists rose to 15.  News agency PTI quoted, “Six children among 15 killed in raids on terror hideouts in Sri Lanka, say police.”

Gunmen opened fire on troops when they attempted to storm the house in the town of Kalmunai, military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said. Sri Lanka’s special forces were engaged in a severe gun battle with suspected terrorists in Kalmunai city, in the Eastern Province on Friday evening, the military had said.

The same day, the military had said that security forces recovered flags belonging to Islamic State, literature and some other objects from a house in the Ampara district, also in the east, which is said to be the terrorist organization’s place for oath-taking.

Meanwhile, in view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on April 21, 2019, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued an advisory for Indians intending to travel to the country. The MEA has advised the people to not make non-essential travel.

The MEA also issued helpline numbers for assistance which is available on the Indian High Commission’s website. The helpline numbers are: +94772234176, +94777902082, +94112422788 and +94112422789.