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Committee probing Easter attacks submits its final report to Lankan President

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Colombo: A three-member committee appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 258 people, including 11 Indians, yesterday submitted its final report to President Maithripala Sirisena.

Supreme Court Justice Vijith Malalgoda, who headed the committee, handed over the report to President Sirisena. Other members of the committee - former ministerial secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne and former police chief N K Ilangakoon - were also present.

The details of the report were immediately not available.

President Sirisena appointed the committee on April 22 to probe into the Easter bombings and identify its root causes along with other related matters.

The ad hoc investigation body had submitted two interim reports on the investigations to the President on earlier occasions.

Nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa, and three high-end hotels frequented by tourists in the country's deadliest violence since the devastating civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ended in 2009.

The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings.

A total of 106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and a school principal, have been arrested in connection with the blasts.

President Sirisena suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara and dismissed his top defence official Hemasiri Fernando after it was found that there were intelligence failures before the attacks.

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