One of the Lankan suicide bombers was a woman, another studied in UK, Australia

Police arrested scores of people with suspected links to the National Thowheeth Jamath, the group which officials believe carried out the bombings.

Published: 24th April 2019 01:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2019 03:21 PM   |  A+A-

sri_lanka_blasts_AP

Indian staff at a school pray for the victims of Sunday's blasts in Sri Lanka, in Ahmadabad, India, on 22 April 2019. (Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

One of the nine bombers who detonated explosives in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday was a woman, deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene told reporters on Wednesday as the death toll mounted to 359.

Another suicide bomber had studied in the UK and Australia before carrying out the bombings, the defence minister said.

“We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and later did his postgraduate [studies] in Australia before coming back and settling in Sri Lanka,” said Wijewardene.

Meanwhile, a special task force conducted a controlled blast in Colombo after spotting a suspicious motorcycle.

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the devastating Easter blasts in Sri Lanka and identified the suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks. Seven suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, in the country's worst terror attack.

Gunasekera said that search operations were carried out during Tuesday night's curfew hours in different parts of the country. Police arrested scores of people with suspected links to the National Thowheeth Jamath, the group which officials believe carried out the bombings.

Over 10 people have been arrested from the Muslim minority concentrated areas of Aluthgama and Beruwela, south of Colombo, police said. Six more were arrested at Katuwapitiya in the western coastal area where the bombed St Sebastian's Church is located.

We failed to take proper actions despite India's warnings: Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said that the island nation failed to take proper actions, despite India sending intelligence inputs multiple times, with the last one coming two hours before the first blast, reported NDTV.

"India gave us the intelligence but there has been a lapse on how we acted on that... intelligence was not conveyed down the line," the Prime Minister said while adding that Sri Lankan investigators were in constant touch with several countries, including China and Pakistan, during the investigation.

"So far it [those responsible] has been a group confined to Sri Lankan citizens but with foreign connections. This is why we have asked the assistance of some of the foreign agencies to trace the overseas involvement. We have a good intelligence sharing system with India. It has been giving us the help we need. We also have got help from USA and UK. Our priority is to apprehend the terrorists. Until we do that, no one is safe," he further said.

He also did not rule out the attacks being retaliatory effects of the Mosque shootings in New Zealand's Christchurch in March.

However, he also said that the planning of these deadly bomb blasts happened much before the Christchurch shootings.

India warned Lankan authorities two hours before the blasts: Report

The island nation's intelligence officials were tipped off by their Indian counterpart about the possible terror strikes, with the last warnings being shot off two hours before the first wave of suicide bombings, reported Reuters.

The report also cited that their sources were one from Sri Lankan defence department and the other from the Government of India.

Another Sri Lankan government source said that India issued warnings on Saturday night too.

Indian sources also confirmed of sending similar warning messages to Sri Lanka on April 4 and April 20.

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