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Sri Lanka Troops Raid Militant Hideout, Six Children Among 15 Killed in Gunfight

The gunbattle began Friday night after police tipped off soldiers to a suspected safe house, where authorities say the militants set off three explosions and opened fire.

Associated Press

Updated:April 27, 2019, 6:06 PM IST
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Police say that 15 bodies including six children have been found after a raid in east Sri Lanka on militants linked to the Easter bombings.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara gave the figures early Saturday after a gunfight between soldiers and the suspected militants near Sammanthurai.

The gunbattle began Friday night after police tipped off soldiers to a suspected safe house, where authorities say the militants set off three explosions and opened fire. At least three others were wounded in the attack.

Gunasekara says some of the dead likely were militants who blew themselves up in suicide bombings.

Earlier, the military said at least one civilian had been killed in the attack.

Sri Lanka's military says soldiers are raiding an area in the country's east where a gunfight between troops and suspects linked to the Easter suicide bombings killed two militants and one civilian.

Maj Gen Aruna Jayasekara, the local military commander, said Saturday that at least three people were wounded in the gunbattle that saw at least three explosions.

Jayasekara says soldiers and police wanted to wait until daylight to carry out further raids given houses being built so close together.

Meanwhile, the military says security forces have recovered explosives, detonators, "suicide kits," military uniforms and Islamic State group flags during the raids.

The Easter suicide bombings, claimed by the Islamic State group, targeted churches and hotels and killed at least 250 people.

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