Colombo: In a raid to smoke out IS sympathizers and bust sleeper cells, the Sri Lankan security forces have seized bomb-making equipments and other terrorism related materials.
In a raid across the Eastern part of the island nation the security forces have unearthed IS flags, uniforms, 150 sticks of explosives, thousands of ball-bearings and even a drone camera. It was seized from a house in Samanthurai.
Reports say that three explosions occurred in Kalmunai and a gun battle broke out in Sainda-Marudu area of the city.
Sri Lankan authorities believe that a local terror group, National Thowheeth Jammath, is responsible for the bomb blasts. Meanwhile, the dreaded IS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The country is going through a tense period after coordinated multiple bomb blasts in three churches and top end hotels killed 360 people and wounded more than 500. A state of emergency is being imposed and efforts are on to root out any sleeper cells.
There are intelligence reports that another terror attack might happen and the security agencies are on high alert. The President, Maithripala Sirisena said that every household in the country will be searched and the lists of permanent residents of every house will be established to ensure no unknown person could live anywhere.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has suspended Sunday masses till the situation comes to normal and the risk to the lives of the worshipers are minimal.
While the government asked Muslims to stay indoors and closed down mosques in order to protect them, many of the mosques defied government orders and opened for midday prayers.