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Sri Lanka: 5 terror suspects arrested with Rs 1 bn in bank accounts

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Colombo | May 26, 2019 2:41:20 AM IST
The bank accounts of five terror suspects, who were arrested a day earlier for close links with Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ), had funds of Rs 1 billion, a senior police official said.

The five suspects were arrested in Horowpathana on Friday on suspicion of having links with the outlawed NTJ and its leader Zahran Hashim, who was behind the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, The Daily Mirror reported.

The official also said those among the arrested were a development officer attached to the Horowpathana Divisional Secretariat, a teacher of a government school in Horowpathana, two teachers of an Arabic college in Kiwulekada and a resident of Kebithigollewa.

Police said the suspects had delivered extremist sermons in Anuradhapura and Trincomalee. They had received armed training at the Horowpathana jungle two years ago with the participation of several other individuals, the police added.

The April 21 bombings took place at various locations across the country. At least 250 people lost their lives while over 500 were injured in the terrorist attacks, which have been widely condemned.

Local terror group NTJ, which is an ISIS-affiliate, claimed responsibility for the bombings that targeted three luxury hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka on April 21.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday extended by a month the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the deadly blasts, citing "public security.

The emergency law gives police and the military extensive powers to arrest, detain and interrogate suspects without court orders. (ANI)

 
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