Sri Lanka PM: Most linked to bombing slain or held

AFP / PTI

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The authorities have said there are about 140 followers of the Islamic State group in the country.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (Photo: AFP)

Colombo: Sri Lankan forces have killed or arrested most of the radical Islamists linked to the Easter suicide bombings and the country is ready to return to normality, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday. But the Prime Minister said the government had planned tougher laws to deal with Islamist extremists, and that foreign clerics teaching in Sri Lanka illegally will be expelled.

The Easter Sunday bombings that left 253 dead were carried out by a “small, but a well organised group,” Mr Wickremesinghe said in a statement. “Most of them have been arrested. Some have died,” the Prime Minister said.

Over 100 people were detained since the attacks. The authorities have said there are about 140 followers of the Islamic State group in the country.

Sri Lanka’s churches remained shut on Sunday forcing Christians to say their prayers in private. Meanwhile, barring three areas, the night curfew imposed after the blasts was lifted on Sunday. “No island-wide curfew tonight,” the police said. Thousands of Sri Lankan troops remained on the streets, guarding churches and mosques.

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