April 27, 2019 / 1:59 PM / 4 months ago

Relatives of Sri Lanka suicide bombings mastermind wounded in gunbattle

COLOMBO (Reuters) - The wife and a daughter of the suspected mastermind of suicide attacks on churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka were wounded in a gunbattle that erupted following a raid in the east of the country, police and his sister said on Saturday.

The shootout at a safe house erupted on Friday in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district on the east coast as police hunted for people linked to Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Zahran, who has been named as the ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings.

“Yes, the wife and daughter were injured in the attack,” said Mohamed Hashim Mathaniya , sister of Zahran. “I was asked to come to identify them but I am not sure I can go, “ she told Reuters from the town of Kattankudy in the east.

Police officials said the injured were believed to be Zahran’s relatives.

At least 15 people including six children were killed in the gun battle, a military spokesman said earlier.

Reporting by Shri Navratnam and Shihar Aneez; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Frances Kerry

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