close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Leader of the group committed suicide at Shangri-la hotel: Police

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Colombo, Sri Lanka Apr 25, 2019, 03.04 PM (IST)

Four days after the Easter Sunday blasts, Sri Lankan authorities revealed new details about the suicide bombers who carried out attacks on churches and hotels in the country.

"They are a group, and there are quite a few individuals, and out of that, from this group, the leader of this group has committed suicide at the Shangri-la Hotel, but what we are conducting investigations is to find out whether there are other people who are involved in this group," Ruwan Wijewardene, deputy defense minister said.

There were eight male suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks on Sunday, one was a female, wife of a bomber who blew herself up at her hideout in Dematagoda, a suburb of Sri Lanka.

"Whether she (female suicide bomber) was trained, I cannot say at the moment, but she definitely did commit suicide by blasting a jacket," Wijewardene added.

The government said the alleged suicide bombers hailed from financially stable backgrounds and are well educated.

"They believe that this (the attacks) is a reprisal, it was basically motivated, the Christchurch incident motivated these guys to carry out these blasts on Easter Sunday," Sri Lanka's deputy defence minister added.

Police spokesman Ruwan Wijewardene said: "CID (Criminal Investigation Department) confirmed nine suicide cadres involved in this bomb blast. And out of nine, CID has identified eight suicide cadres."

Police sources have said that two of the nine attackers were brothers who belonged to prominent spice trading family in Colombo. The brothers, identified as Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim and Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim, were sons of spice merchant Mohamed Ibrahim.

Sri Lankan authorities have so far not released the identities of any of the bombers. The brothers' father, Mohamed Ibrahim, was arrested as police investigate those behind the attacks, police said.

At least 359 people have been killed in the blast with the toll likely to go up further with several still unaccounted for and many wounded still in critical condiction. Islamic State terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

Wijewardene said there is a possiblity of some people linked to the attack still roaming free, however, he added that "within the next few days, we will have the situation totally under control."

Story highlights

The government said the alleged suicide bombers hailed from financially stable backgrounds and are well educated.