Aftermath of violence reveals signs of further Sri Lanka terror plans |

Aftermath of violence reveals signs of further Sri Lanka terror plans

The Washington Post
Sri Lankan police and army officers display bomb making materials recovered from the hideout of militants after a gun battle in Kalmunai, in eastern Sri Lanka, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Militants linked to Easter suicide bombings opened fire and set off explosives during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces on a house in the country’s east, leaving behind 15 bodies, including six children.

SAINTHAMARUTHU, Sri Lanka — They arrived a day or two after the Easter Sunday bombings and moved into a low-slung house behind a high wall and black metal gate, unloading boxes from a pale gray minivan.

But the neighbors in the seaside town of Sainthamaruthu soon began to suspect something wasn’t right. Finally, a group of residents asked the new arrivals — men, women and children — to leave town.

Within hours, the quiet lane was a war zone.

On Friday, at least 15 people, including six children, were killed in bomb blasts and gunfire as Sri Lankan security forces closed in on the house.

Police believe the explosions were triggered deliberately — the final violent acts of a group whose hideout had bombmaking items and black backpacks. This, authorities say, suggests just one thing: possible plans for the next steps in a campaign of terror that began April 21 with bombings at churches that claimed more than 250 lives.

On Saturday, after the chaos, crime scene personnel in fluorescent vests roamed around the home.

The confrontation came amid a nationwide security crackdown and searches for suspects across the country. Police have deployed new emergency powers to stop and question individuals and to conduct raids.

When authorities entered the home in Sainthamaruthu at dawn on Saturday, they found the charred bodies of children in a corner. They also discovered two survivors. An injured woman and toddler were taken to the hospital.

The home contained bombmaking equipment, including detonators, wires, plastic tubes for explosives and three identical brand-new black backpacks.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.