Sri Lanka police grant time to hand over illegal weapons

Sri Lanka police grant time to hand over illegal weapons

Sri Lanka military spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said Sunday's riots, which saw attacks on homes and business, was between ethnic Sinhalese Catholics and Muslims.

"It's crystal clear because after the attacks the IS organisation made an announcement claiming responsibility for the bombings", he said.

The United Kingdom has offered to help Sri Lanka set up a central intelligence body similar to the Joint Terrorism Analysing Centre in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings by Islamist extremists supportive of Islamic State.

The ban was imposed following a tense situation in Negombo last night which led to overnight police curfew.

Meanwhile, a city near Sri Lanka's capital was placed under curfew by police Sunday, following clashes between Muslim and Christian mobs.

The faithful were allowed into a section of the church to pray before a statue of Saint Anthony, said Father Edmond Tilakaratne, spokesman for the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

The country's main worldwide airport is located in the area, but police said there was no disruption to airport traffic.

About the possibility of an involvement of a foreign group, the Commander said that by looking at the pattern of operation and the places that the suspects travelled, there has to be some outside involvement of some leadership or instructions.

Authorities in Sri Lanka have blamed the blasts on two previously little-known local Islamist groups - National Thowheed Jamath and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem - whom they suspect had worldwide links.

Sirisena said he was not told of near-specific advance information from Indian intelligence sources about the plot and the attackers.

India is learnt to have sent as many as three alerts before the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka, including one just hours before the blasts. Catholic churches were closed for a second weekend, and Muslims are under security surveillance and subjected to hate comments on social media.

Wickremesinghe earlier said he and his Cabinet Ministers had not been informed about the prior threats.

Hashim was confirmed to have been killed in the attack on a Colombo hotel on Easter Sunday. "Some have been killed", Wickremesinghe said during a tour of island's east, where a Christian church was hit.

Government-run schools reopened for students in higher classes Monday but fewer students attended out of fear.

"We are trying to see if there are any more secret IS cells in the country", he said. Of these, at least 40 are foreigners and 50 are children.

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