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  1. Gezza

     /  28th April 2019

    Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates

    Saturday, April 27:
    Relatives of suicide bombings mastermind wounded in gun battle
    The wife and a daughter of the suspected mastermind behind the suicide attacks on churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka were wounded in a gun battle in the east of the country, according to the police and his sister.

    The shootout at a safe house erupted on Friday in Sainthamaruthu in the Ampara district as police hunted for people linked to Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Zahran, who has been named as the ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings.

    “I was asked to come to identify them but I am not sure I can go,” Mohamed Hashim Mathaniya, sister of Zahran, told Reuters from the town of Kattankudy in the east.

    Indian police uncovered a plot, but Sri Lanka didn’t act
    While monitoring the usual channels, Indian police stumbled upon a detailed plot for the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, the Associated Press news agency reported.

    Police managed to break into National Towheed Jamaat’s communications and began tapping into the plot, according to Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.

    “That is why the kind of detailing of the incident they received was very, very specific,” Sahni said. “They knew the group, they knew the targets, they knew the time, they knew the whereabouts of the suicide bombers, and all of this was communicated to the Sri Lankan government.”

    Sri Lankan officials have acknowledged that some of the island nation’s intelligence units were given advance notice about the attacks and that little was done to prevent them.

    Pakistan’s under-19 cricket team’s visit postponed
    Sri Lanka has postponed a tour of Pakistan’s under-19 team following the Easter Sunday bombings,

    Police chief ‘refusing to quit’ despite president’s request
    Pujith Jayasundara, Sri Lanka’s police chief, has refused a request by President Sirisena to step down over the failure to thwart the Easter Sunday attacks, two sources at the president’s office told Reuters.

    Sirisena blamed Jayasundara and Hemasiri Fernando, the defence secretary, for not sharing advance warnings of the attacks with him. 

    Fernando resigned earlier in the week, but Jayasundara was holding on, the two officials told Reuters news agency. Under Sri Lanka’s constitution, only parliament can remove the police chief.

    Girl, woman survive bloody Sri Lanka raid
    A girl and a woman survived a fiery explosion at a suspected safe house in eastern Sri Lanka that killed 15 people during a raid linked to the Easter bombings.

    Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara said the woman and girl are critically injured and are being treated at a nearby hospital in Ampara District.

    Security forces have been clearing the safe house following an overnight gunbattle between soldiers and suspects. Authorities say the suspects set off three explosions and opened fire. 

    Fifteen dead in overnight raid on suspects hideout
    Fifteen people, including six children, have died during a Sri Lankan security forces operation as three suicide bombers blow themselves up and others were shot dead, police said.

    The three men set off explosives, also killing three women and six children inside what was believed to a safe house near the eastern town of Kalmunai on Friday night.

    “Three other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the house,” police said in a statement, adding that they had been shot.
    … … …

    Friday, April 26:
    Catholic churches cancel all Sunday Masses 

    The archbishop of Colombo said there will be no Sunday Masses until further notice after the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.
    Speaking at a news conference in the capital, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith appealed for financial support to rebuild the lives of the affected people and reconstruct the churches targeted in the bombings.

    “I assured the Muslim community not to have any fears after the attacks,” he said, adding that all four major religions in Sri Lanka have “a very good relationship”.

    ‘Every household in the country will be checked’
    Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has revealed his short and long-term measures to bring back normalcy to the island nation coming to terms with the Easter bombings.

    “Every household in the country will be checked. The lists of permanent residents of every house will be established to ensure no unknown person could live anywhere,” he said, pointing out that during the fight against LTTE, similar methods were adopted.

    Sirisena acknowledged “a serious lapse” on the part of the country’s defence secretary and top police official, who failed to inform him about an April 4 letter from a “friendly foreign country” warning about a possible attack.
    … … …
    Guarded by soldiers, Sri Lanka’s Muslims pray for peace
    As soldiers armed with assault rifles guarded Colombo’s golden-domed Kollupitiya Jummah Masjid, hundreds of Muslims defied government calls to stay at home and attended a service they said was focused on a call for people of all religions to help return peace to Sri Lanka.

    “We work with Christians, Buddhists, Hindus. It has been a threat for all of us because of what these few people have done to this beautiful country,” said 28-year-old sales worker Raees Ulhaq.

    “Every day since this carnage happened, me, my family, and all, we are praying to God, please bring us peace,” Abdul Waheed Mohamed, a 43-year-old engineer, said after leaving the Friday prayers.

    Easter attack leader died in hotel bombing: President
    The suspected leader believed to have played a key role in Sri Lanka’s deadly Easter bombings has died, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday.

    “What intelligence agencies have told me is that Zahran was killed during the Shangri-La attack,” Sirisena told reporters, referring to Zahran Hashim (also called Mohamed Zahran), leader of a local Muslim hardline group.

    Sri Lanka police chief resigns: President
    Sri Lanka’s top police official, Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, has resigned over failures that led to the deadly Easter bomb attacks, the country’s president said on Friday.

    “I’ll nominate a new IGP soon,” President Maithripala Sirisena told reporters.
    Sirisena’s nominee has to be confirmed by a constitutional council.

    The resignation comes after the country’s top defence ministry official, defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned on Thursday.

    Police looking for 140 people with ISIL link
    Sri Lankan police is looking for 140 people with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS), according to President Maithripala Sirisena.

    Sirisena told reporters on Friday that some Sri Lankan youth had been involved with the group since 2013, and that top defence and police chiefs had not shared information with him about the impending attacks.

    Increased security amid threats of further attacks
    Heavy security is out on the streets of Sri Lanka’s capital after warnings of further attacks.

    At St. Anthony’s Church, one of those struck in the attacks on Easter Sunday, there were more soldiers than normal on Friday. Shops nearby remained closed.

    Authorities told Muslims to pray at home rather than attend communal Friday prayers.
    … … …

    Al Jazeera

    • Gezza

       /  28th April 2019

      More CCTV video footage of another baseball cap-wearing bomber just shown on Aljaz tv, entering the Kingsleigh(?) hotel, checking in, wearing a large backpack, entering his room, then later leaving his room, still wearing the backpack, & going downstairs to where he detonated the backpack. Very chilling to watch how casual & normal he seemed.

  2. Patzcuaro

     /  28th April 2019

    Trump tweets congratulations to white 2nd pick in NFL draft while ignoring No. 1 pick who was black. Tone dead as usual.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  28th April 2019

      For aficionados of trivia Nick Bosa is the grandson of Chicago mobster Tony Accardo

    • Pink David

       /  28th April 2019

      According to this, Trump is a White Supremacist, so I guess every one of the 60 million who follow him fall into this “He’s a “big Trump fan” who followed white supremacists on Twitter and liked racist & homophobic posts.” category.

      For aficionados of trivia Kyler Murray is the no.1 pick, and his contract is $35.2 million. That shows just how racist the USA is, it’s almost a rerun of slavery.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  28th April 2019

      Trump should have had the basic good manners to congratulate them both. It makes him look very petty and small-minded.

      I have never heard of either, and don’t care who the 1st or 2nd pick for whatever it is was, but I’d mind having such a petty-minded President if I was an American.

  1. Sri Lankan bombings – on the alleged ringleader | Your NZ

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