Sri Lankan police are working to identify and arrest all suspects behind the devastating terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of more than 300 people on Easter Sunday, April 21.
The Sri Lankan police have arrested two brothers that are believed to be the main suspects behind a series of terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday, the news portal Ada Derana reported, citing local police.
According to Ada Derana, the two brothers, Mohammad Saadik Abdul Haq and Mohammad Saahid Abdul Haq, were arrested in the Nawalapitya area. Two bothers have been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lankan Police.
Ada Derana said the Nawalapitiya Police received a tip-off that the brothers had been hiding in a shop belonging to a relative. The shop's owner was also arrested, as well as a van driver who brought the brothers to the area after the attack.
In related news, a father and two brothers of the suspected mastermind of Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday bombings were killed when security forces stormed their safe house two days ago, police sources and a relative of the suicide bombers told Reuters on Sunday.
Zainee Hashim, Rilwan Hashim and their father Mohamed Hashim, who were seen in a video circulating on social media calling for all-out war against non believers, were among 15 killed in a fierce gun battle with the military on the east coast on Friday, four police sources said.
Niyaz Sharif, the brother-in-law of Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the wave of Easter Sunday bombings that killed over 250 people in churches and hotels across the island nation, told Reuters the video showed Zahran's two brothers and father.
Three of the people killed in Friday's gun battle were the same people who were seen in the undated video on social media, in which they discus martyrdom and urge their followers to kill all non believers, police sources said.
Sri Lanka has been on high alert since the attacks on Easter Sunday, with nearly 10,000 soldiers deployed across the island to carry out searches and hunt down members of two local Islamist groups believed to have carried out the attack.
Authorities have since detained more than 100 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt since the April 21 bombings.