- Two gunmen were killed in a shootout with security forces during a raid on a suspected terrorist safe house in eastern Sri Lanka on Friday, according to a Sri Lanka Army press release.
- Earlier in the evening, officials said troops came under fire while investigating a location in the coastal city of Kalmunai where they believed suicide vests were being made.
- Sri Lankan soldiers and police are working together to try and find people with connections to ISIS in the country after more than 250 people were killed in bombings across the island on Easter Sunday.
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Two gunmen were killed in a shootout with Sri Lankan security forces on Friday, according to a press release from the Sri Lanka Army.
According to the statement, troops were investigating a suspected safe house when a group of suspected terrorists triggered three explosions and began firing on the troops.
The soldiers fired back, killing two of the gunmen. One civilian died in the crossfire as well, while 3-4 more people were reportedly injured.
Earlier in the evening, the Army released another statement saying that gunfire broke out when a group of soldiers and policemen were searching an address in the coastal town of Kalmunai that they believed was being used to produce suicide bomb kits and explosives.
It’s unclear whether these were the same or separate incidents.
Meanwhile, a raid on a home in nearby Sammanthurai yielded a treasure trove of ISIS propaganda and bomb-making materials.
Breaking: Explosions and gunfire reported as Sri Lankan security forces raid an ISIS bomb factory in Kalmunai, Sri Lanka. pic.twitter.com/pLrZIygCL7
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) April 26, 2019
The Sri Lankan Army said in a statement that troops searching a house in the town “recovered ISIS flags, literature and some other objects from the place, said to be the terrorist organisations’ place for oath taking.”
150 sticks of explosive Gelignite, 100,000 ball bearings, detonators, Islamic State uniforms, and a drone have now been recovered by police, according to Nidahasa News.
Footage broadcast concurrently by Sri Lankan media outlet News 1st appears to show police guarding piles of bomb-making equipment and flags bearing the mark of the Islamic State.
Sri Lankan security forces have been raiding homes across the country in the search for those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks, which killed 253 people.
Sri Lanka’s health ministry on Tuesday said 34 foreigners were killed, including citizens from Bangladesh, China, India, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the UK, the US, and Australia.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the coordinated attacks were first linked to a local militant group, and were the worst the country has seen since the end of its civil war a decade ago.
Sri Lankan police have arrested over 80 suspects in connection with the blasts.
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