Gun battle as Sri Lankan soldiers raid Easter bombing suspects

Sri Lankan soldiers have exchanged gunfire with suspects after attempting to raid a building in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province as part of the ongoing investigation into the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks.

Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)
Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)

Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said a gun battle was under way in the coastal town of Sammanthurai, 200 miles from the capital, Colombo.

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Local militants with ties to the Islamic State group conducted a series of suicide bombings on Easter Sunday at churches and luxury hotels in and around Colombo and in the distant seaside village of Batticaloa.

The health ministry said about 250 people were killed.

Sri Lanka has remained on edge as authorities have pursued suspects with possible access to explosives.

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