Sri Lanka reveals new details about the Easter Sunday suicide bombers

World Today

A security shakeup in Sri Lanka, following the Easter Sunday bomb attacks. The president is demanding resignations from the defense secretary and the national police chief. The death toll keeps rising.  At least 359 people were killed, including at least two were from China. Nearly 60 people have been detained for questioning. As CGTN’s Ravinder Bawa reports, the government is releasing new details about the bombers.

Surveillance footage broadcast on local TV channels shows a man, entering a lift at the Shangri-La Hotel, who is said to be the leader of the splinter group responsible for Sunday’s attacks. He was spotted at the breakfast buffet and soon detonated the bomb in his backpack. The targets at the hotel were foreign nationals

“Well here is a group, and there are quite a few individuals, and out of that, from this group, the leader of this group has committed suicide at the Shangri-la Hotel,” said Deputy Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene. “We are conducting investigations to find out whether there are other people who are involved in this group.”

The government reveals that the alleged suicide bombers hail from financially stable backgrounds and are well educated. Some of them lived in an upscale suburb of Colombo, where the attacks have left neighbors shocked.

“It saddens me that Muslims who are my neighbors have done this,” said Mohammed Fayez. “It puts a black spot on all of us Muslims.”

“I think these boys were brainwashed by some organization just like our Buddhist boys are being brainwashed by right-wing organizations,” said another man.

According to the government, the Christchurch incident motivated the alleged bombers to carry out the explosions. It has not yet revealed the bombers’ links to the Islamic state.

“Intelligence services are doing investigations and this is a motivating factor,” said Ruwan Wijewardene. “I cannot divulge any details.”

Wednesday witnessed two controlled explosions of suspicious objects by security agencies. Security arrangements have been beefed up in vulnerable areas and Colombo looks like a fortress.