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Sister of Easter Sunday bombing mastermind fears 18 relatives dead after attacks


ANI Asia
The sister of the suspected mastermind of Sri Lanka's debilitating Easter Sunday bombings has claimed that nearly 18 members of her family are missing and feared dead since the attacks and subsequent raids.
Mohamed Hashim Mathaniya is the sister of Mohamed Hashim Zahran, one of the suicide bombers who appeared in a video released by an Islamic State-linked news agency before blowing himself up on Easter Sunday.
Mathaniya told CNN that five of her relatives went missing on Sunday itself after the attacks.
It is pertinent to mention here that Sri Lankan authorities on Friday had conducted a raid at what was believed to be a jihadist hideout in eastern Sri Lanka's Kalmunai city.
In the shootout that ensued between the police and suspected terrorists, 10 civilians including six children were killed.
Speaking about the shootout, Mathaniya said: "It did not hit me until I saw the bodies of the men and women. When they said six children, I thought whether they could be the people related to me."
"Among the women, there were five women in the house - the wives of my three brothers, my younger sister, and my mother. There were altogether seven children," she added.
One of the six suspected terrorists found dead has been identified as Mohamed Niyas, a prominent member of a local extremist group National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ).
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan police on Sunday morning (local time) arrested two of the main suspects in connection with the Easter Sunday blasts. The suspects have been identified as Mohomed Ivuhaim Sadiqq Abdul Haq and Mohomed Ivuhaim Shahid Abdul Haq.
The two have been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further questioning, reported Colombo Page.
Late night on Saturday, the police had also arrested a 57-year-old man with six homemade bombs from a mosque at Daulagala district, reported Daily Mirror.
Eight blasts ripped through three churches and three high-end hotels across the Island nation, claiming the lives of 253 and injuring over 500 others. The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 5:19 PM IST

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