Father, brothers of Lanka suicide killers eliminated

Colombo/Kalmunai: The 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 said 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 the 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 Easter bombings, said the video showed Zahran’s two brothers and father.

In the video, Rilwan Hashim is seen calling for all out ‘jihad’, or holy war, while children cry in the background. A total of 106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and a principal, were arrested in connection with the blasts, police said.

The 40-year-old teacher was found in possession of 50 SIM cards and other incriminating items. He was held following a joint operation conducted by the Kalpitiya Police and the Navy. Two suspects were arrested in Galle during a search conducted on information received of a school managed by the NTJ. One of them is a principal of the school and the other is a doctor who has served as an instructor. The Galle police is conducting further investigations. In a special joint operation conducted by the Army and police in Vavuniya town, 10 suspects were arrested.