Troops in Sri Lanka killed two suspected IS gunmen at a house in Sainthamaruthu, located in Sri Lanka’s Ampara district this morning. As many as 15 bodies, including those of six children and three women have been found at the house.
“An explosion occurred late night,” told the military spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu. The “explosion,” he said followed rounds of gunfire exchanged between security forces and Easter attacks suspects, who were reportedly near the house. “We believe they set off the explosives following the gunfire,” he said. The army was unable to confirm if the 15 persons found dead included suspects or their family members.
During the gunfire exchange which began around 7 pm, one civilian died, and five others were injured and taken to hospital. No one from the security force were killed.
According to a press release from the army, based on an intelligence tip-off given by the Police, troops were rounding up “a safe house” of suspected terrorists Friday evening, when they triggered three explosions and began firing towards the troops. “Troops retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been stored,” it said.
Security forces recovered explosives, detonators, gelignite sticks, acid bottles, detonating cords, ISIS flags and backdrops, suicide kits, military uniforms, from another safe house in Samanthurai area earlier in the evening, the release said.
The development comes in the wake of Sri Lanka’s heightened search for suspects linked to the Easter day serial blasts that claimed more than 300 lives last Sunday.