Jihadists ‘blow themselves up’ as soldiers raid suicide vest factory in Sri Lanka and exchange fire with fanatics after seizing ISIS flags, 150 sticks of explosives and 100,000 ball-bearings
Sri Lankan security forces say a shoot-out occurred after an explosion on Friday
They were investigating suspected terrorists in Sainthamaruthu
Local media reported several suspects blew themselves up as police opened fire
Police had earlier uncovered a huge bomb-making operation five miles away
An ISIS banner is held up by Sri Lankan security officers following their raid on suspected terrorists in the Samanthurai area on Friday evening
An explosion rocked Sri Lanka as police opened fire at a suicide vest factory during a raid on suspected terrorists linked to the Easter Sunday massacre in the country.
Shooting erupted between security forces and a group of men in the east of the country during a search operation, a military spokesman said.
The raid took place in the town of Sainthamaruthu, 200 miles from Colombo where 253 people were killed in luxury hotels and churches on Sunday.
Several of the terror suspects blew themselves up as the authorities opened fire, Ada Derana reports.
The raid took place in the town of Sainthamaruthu, 200 miles east of the national capital of Colombo where 253 people were killed in luxury hotels and churches on Sunday.
A curfew has been imposed within Kalmunai, Chavalakade and Samanthurai police areas with immediate effect until further notice, authorities said.
The curfew was imposed in these areas as after explosions which reportedly occurred after a joint police and army security team stormed a suspected bomb factory resulting in a shootout between officers and an armed group operating in Sainthamaruthu.
Security forces personnel launched a search operation in the Sainthamaruthu area on Friday evening as part of a manhunt for suspects in last weekend’s deadly bombings.
The team recovered a stock of explosives and other rbomb making materials. Security personnel seized clothing and flags linked to ISIS, 150 sticks of gelignite, 100,000 ball bearings, drones and at least one suicide vest during the raid.
An army spokesman said that during the search mission an explosion was suddenly heard from the direction of Kalmunai and that security forces immediately surrounded that area.
Earlier, the Special Security Task Force sought thepublics help in locating suspects still at large
Security forces engaged the armed group in an exchange of gunfire. It is believed that 3-6 terrorists were holed up at that location described as a suicide vest manufacturing hide-out, News First reported..
Sri Lanka’s security forces said the location was believed to have been used by Islamist radicals to record a video pledging allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before carrying out the deadly Easter attacks.
‘We have found the backdrop the group used to record their video,’ the police said in a statement.
Police believed the recovered Islamic State uniforms were similar to those worn by the eight fighters for the film they made ahead of Sunday’s attacks.
The video was released by ISIS two days after the bombings.
Photos showed what appeared to be large canisters of fuel as well as detonating devices and tubing believed to have been part of a bomb manufacturing operation, News First said.
A military spokesman said there was an explosion in the area and when soldiers went to investigate they were fired upon. No details of casualties were immediately available.
The news comes as the country remains on high alert since the suicide bombings on churches and hotels in which more than 250 people were killed on Easter Sunday.
Police and the army have been conducting raids as they gather intelligence about the suicide bombers and their supporters. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.