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Sri Lanka's defence secy Hemasiri Fernando resigns over Easter blasts

Fernando handed over his resignation letter Thursday on a request made by President Maithripala Sirisena

Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. A Sri Lanka hospital spokesman says several blasts on Easter Sunday have killed dozens of people | Photo: AP/PTI
Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. A Sri Lanka hospital spokesman says several blasts on Easter Sunday have killed dozens of people | Photo: AP/PTI

Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned from his post on Thursday, days after a series of devastating suicide attacks that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, killing nearly 360 people.

President Maithripala Sirisena had asked Defence Secretary Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara to quit after their failure to prevent the blasts despite having prior intelligence.

Fernando handed over his resignation letter Thursday on a request made by President Sirisena, Colombo Gazette reported.

Nine suicide bombers, believed to be members of local Islamist extremist group called National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), carried out the devastating blasts that killed 359 people and wounded more than 500 others.