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Home / World / The sister of the suspect in Sri Lanka fears 18 relatives who are dead after attacks

The sister of the suspect in Sri Lanka fears 18 relatives who are dead after attacks



More than 250 people were killed and at least 500 injured on 21 April in a series of coordinated suicide bombings in churches and hotels across the island.
Mohamed Hashim Mathaniya is the sister of Mohamed Hashim Zahran, the man in Sri Lanka Faith was one of the leaders of the attacks.

He appeared in a video released by an ISIS-linked news agency before he blew himself up on Easter Sunday.

Speaking with CNN on Saturday, she said she had her brother identify photographs of his body parts at the police station earlier this week.

"Five men were missing after the attacks (on Sunday), they were my three brothers, my father and my sister's husband," she said.

Friday night [1
0] alleged militants were stormed Civilians – including six children – were killed along with six alleged terrorists in the city of Sainthamaruthu on the east coast of Sri Lanka after a shootout between police and suspected fighters.

On Saturday morning, a gruesome scene was discovered in the raided house – bodies burned in three explosions and a roof were blown up.

  10 civilians and 6 suspected terrorists killed in police raid

]

One of the fighters killed was identified as Mohamed Niyas, a prominent member of the local extremist group National Tawheed Jamath and the brother-in-law of Mathaniya.

"It did not strike me until I saw the bodies of the men and women, and when they said six children, I thought it might be the people I was with," Mathaniya told CNN.

"There were five women in the house among the women, the wives of my three brothers, my younger sister and my mother, and there were seven children altogether."

Witnesses reported CNN during the raid on an explosion that transformed the Sainthamaruthu house into "fire".

Authorities continue investigation

A wounded suspect fled Friday on a motorcycle, and another suspected terrorist could also be on the run, Sri Lanka's military said.

Early Friday The authorities had a large stock of explosives, 100,000 ball bearings, ISIS uniforms and flags from a garage a few miles from the raided property.

ISIS has taken responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks, but a link between the attackers and the assailant terrorist group has not been proven. Authorities accuse National Tawheed Jamath, who has not claimed the attacks.

India warned preachers planned attacks

Weeks before Easter Sunday, Indian intelligence warned its Sri Lankan counterparts that Zahran was planning an attack on churches and hotels

The radical Islamist preacher had been serving the authorities and the local Muslim community for years known as a dangerous and violent figure.

  Sri Lanka is no closer to understanding or healing after the attacks

In online contributions from Zahran He preached hatred and violence and demanded attacks on other Muslims, Buddhists and Christians.

Both Christianity and Islam are minority religions in Sri Lanka, each accounting for less than 10% of the population. The vast majority of Sri Lankans identify themselves as Buddhists.

In his hometown of Kattankudy – about an hour's drive north of Sainthamaruthu – the locals told CNN they were afraid of Zahran, even after the police confirmed his death in the attacks. 19659027] They painted a portrait of an increasingly radical community, partly due to the influx of funds for mosques and schools, as moderate Muslims were subjected to harassment and even violence by and supporters of the preacher.

CNN's James Griffiths and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.


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