Sri Lanka: Battle between soldiers, suspected militants kills at least 15 - Josh Loe

Sri Lanka: Battle between soldiers, suspected militants kills at least 15

At least 15 people, including six children, have been killed in Sri Lanka after deadly shootout between soldiers and suspected militants as authorities continue to search for those behind Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people.

Sri Lankan police said on Saturday morning that 15 bodies of civilians and suspected militants were found at a suspected militant safehouse after a shootout, The Associated Press reported.

According to CNN, the dead included civilians, such as a woman who was passing by the house on a rickshaw. The suspected militants set off a series of explosions, police said.

Read more: Sri Lanka has banned drones and is detonating suspicious items around its capital in the aftermath of deadly bombing

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said that some of the deceased were likely extremists who blew themselves up in suicide bombings, while a girl and a woman are critically injured and are being treated in the hospital, the AP reported.

Sri Lankan military officers conduct inspections inside the St. Sebastians church where a bomb blast took place in the town of Negombo, 30kms off capital city, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 22, 2019
Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Authorities in Sri Lanka have been conducting a series of raids across the country after a series of bombings erupted across on Easter Sunday, targeting luxury hotels and churches.

Police have arrested over 70 suspects and have banned drones as they stop and search people across the capital city and detonate suspicious items. According to the AP, the military claims that explosives, detonators, “suicide kits,” military uniforms and Islamic State group flags have bee found during the raids.

Read more: Here’s everything we know about National Thowfeek Jamaath, the terror group Sri Lanka has blamed for the Easter bombings

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but no link has been proven. Sri Lankan authorities blame National Towheed Jamaat, a local extremist group that has not taken public responsibility.

Relatives place flowers after the burial of three victims of the same family, who died at Easter Sunday bomb blast at St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 22, 2019.
Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

A high-level intelligence official told CNN that the group was planning another round of attacks in Sri Lanka.

Read more coverage of the Sri Lanka bombings:

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