August 20, 2019
Latest News

3 Die in clash between police, terror suspects in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Apr 26 (efe-epa).- Three people, including a civilian, were killed and three others wounded Friday in a confrontation between Sri Lankan police and suspected associates of the terrorists who carried out the Easter Sunday attacks blamed for 253 deaths, authorities said.

Acting on a tip, security forces raided a residence in the eastern town of Sainthamaruthu suspected of serving as a safe house for people linked to the Easter attacks, the army said in a statement.

Three explosions were heard amid an exchange of gunfire.

Police recovered the bodies of two suspects who detonated explosive vests, the army said.

With night falling, police decided to delay conducting a thorough search and recovery operation until dawn Saturday, according to the statement.

The violence in Sainthamaruthu, whose population is overwhelmingly Muslim, came in the wake of last Sunday's attacks on hotels and churches that killed at least 253 people and injured around 500 others.

While the government blamed the massacre on a domestic Muslim extremist group, National Thowheed Jamath, Islamic State has issued a claim of responsibility

The Sri Lankan president said Friday that authorities had already detained 70 of the 140 IS sympathizers estimate to be in the country.

Maithripala Sirisena vowed that the IS suspects who remained at large would be apprehended "very soon."

"I will stamp out IS from Sri Lanka. Our police and security forces are capable of achieving this," he said, adding that Colombo would welcome assistance from other nations in battling terrorism.

Sirisena said the person who led the attacks on Sunday has been identified as Mohamed Zahran, who died in a blast in Hotel Shangri-La in Colombo.

Zahran belonged to National Thowheed Jamath, the president said.

The attacks began at 8.45 am last Sunday with six coordinated explosions at three luxury hotels in Colombo and three churches across the country as they were holding Easter services.

Another blast in the afternoon left two dead in a small hotel near Dehiwala Zoo, around 10km (6mi) south of the capital.

The eighth explosion killed three police officers at a residential complex in Dematagoda, Colombo.

After initially saying the 321 people died, Sri Lanka reduced the death toll on Thursday to 253.

The president has already begun a shakeup of the intelligence and security apparatus in response to officials' failure to act on warnings received from the Indian government ahead of the Easter Sunday attacks.

Last Sunday was the deadliest day in Sri Lanka since the end of the 1983-2009 civil war between Tamil rebels and the Sinhalese-led government.

Tens of thousands of civilians died in the final phase of the conflict, according to data provided by the United Nations.

Sri Lanka, an island nation of 21 million people with a Sinhalese Buddhist majority, has a number of religious minorities, including Hindus, Muslims - about 10 percent of the population - and Christians, who represent roughly 7 percent.

In 2018, the government declared a state of emergency after violence erupted between Muslims and Buddhists leading to two deaths and dozens of arrests. EFE

News history
US congresswoman asks that US attach conditions to its economic aid to Israel

Washington DC, Aug. 19 (efe-epa).- Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of the United States, one of the lawmakers who recently got barred from entering Israel,...

Twitter: China has mounted campaign to delegitimize Hong Kong protests

San Francisco, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Twitter on Monday said that it had uncovered a coordinated effort by 936 accounts originating in China to delegitimize the...

Hong Kong government announces platform for dialogue amid protests

Hong Kong, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong's chief executive on Tuesday announced the immediate creation of a platform for dialogue involving people from all...

Bangladesh says its ready to start Rohingya repatriations

Dhaka, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Bangladesh said Monday it would be ready to start the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar on 22 August, nearly two years...

Focus is on Macri's goals, Argentina's incoming finance minister says

Buenos Aires, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Incoming Argentine Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza said Monday that he could not discuss the details of his meeting with...

NYPD fires cop blamed for death of Eric Garner

New York, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The head of the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced Monday the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in the...

Bardem: If 30 pct. of oceans not protected in 2030, damage to be irreversible

By Alvaro Celorio

The world is at work on a treaty to protect the oceans

United Nations, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Countries of the United Nations set out this Monday to perfect an ambitious treaty to protect the biodiversity of the...

US gives China's Huawei another 90-day reprieve on sanctions

Washington, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that the US government would give China's Huawei Technologies another 90-day...

Taliban marks 100 years of independence

Kabul, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The Taliban on Monday marked its hundredth anniversary of independence from Afghanistan by reiterating that foreign troops are to...

NGO boat still awaiting safe port as tensions run high aboard

Rome, Aug 19 (epa-efe).- An NGO-operated rescue vessel with 107 migrants on board which has been stranded at sea for 18 days and has been repeatedly denied...

Pro-independence protests in Indonesia's Papua region turn violent

Jakarta, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Pro-independence demonstrations took a violent turn in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua Monday during protests...

Main corruption trial against former Malaysian prime minister postponed

Bangkok, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- A court in Malaysia on Monday postponed by a week the start of the trial against a former prime minister for his alleged role in...

China urges Trump to keep his word, allow business with Huawei in US

Beijing, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Beijing on Monday urged Donald Trump to keep his word and allow companies in the United States to do business with Chinese tech...

8,000 evacuated due to wildfire in Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Some 8,000 people have been evacuated from several areas of Spain's Gran Canaria Islands due to a...

Trump acknowledges US' interest in buying Greenland from Denmark

Washington DC, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday said that Greenland was strategically interesting for his country, although...

Trump defends China policy, says US economy is world's best

Washington, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his strategy versus China, on whose goods Washington has imposed heavy tariffs as...

Colombian ex-ministers: Peace is being fired upon from many angles

By Juliana Alejandra Franco and Ovidio Castro

Migrant rescue ship demands entry to Lampedusa

(Update 1: Adds details)

Open Arms continues stranded with 107 migrants on board

Madrid, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The Spanish government has on Sunday offered the “Open Arms” migrant rescue vessel the possibility of docking at the southern...

Kashmir residents denounce high number of detentions in region

By Shah Abbas

An anti-government rally in Hong Kong

By Shirley Lau

Lacunza to be Argentina's new treasury minister as Dujovne quits

Buenos Aires, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Mauricio Macri said Sunday that Hernan Lacunza "is the right person" to replace former Finance Minister Nicolas...

Portland remains under strict police guard awaiting extremist demonstrations

Washington, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- The city of Portland, Oregon, remained this Saturday under strong police guard after far-right and left-wing extremist groups...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.