Sri Lanka to freeze assets of terrorists involved in Easter Sunday bomb blasts

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Colombo | Published: May 2, 2019 11:44:49 AM

The Sri Lankan authorities are taking steps to freeze the assets of terrorists involved in the Easter Sunday bomb blasts, a media report said on Thursday.

The details of the attackers and their relatives linked to the bombings was released by the police on Wednesday. (Reuters)

The Sri Lankan authorities are taking steps to freeze the assets of terrorists involved in the Easter Sunday bomb blasts, a media report said on Thursday. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is in the process of identifying and compiling the list of assets belonging to those involved in the attacks, police spokesman S P Ruwan Gunasekera was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

Nine suicide bombers carried out the series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 253 people and injuring 500 others. The details of the attackers and their relatives linked to the bombings was released by the police on Wednesday. Police identified Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zahran also known as Zahran Hashmi to have led the team of suicide bombers.

Hashmi, the leader of ISIS linked local outfit National Thowheeth Jamath (NTJ), blew himself up in the posh Shangri-La hotel. He came from the Muslim majority area in Kathankudi in the eastern province, Gunasekera said. His brother Mohamed Nazar Mohamed Azath was the suicide bomber at the Zion church in the eastern town of Batticaloa while his another brother Achchi Mohamed Mohamed Hasthun was the bomber at the St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya, Negombo, the Western coastal town.

The official said that the CID is taking these steps in line with the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Finance Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. On the identification of those involved the country’s worst terror attacks, he said that though CID has identified nine terrorists, “further DNA tests will be conducted to ensure proper identification of the suicide bombers who carried out the Easter Sunday attacks and those who were involved in the shoot-out in Kalmunai on Friday.”

Six children and three women were among 15 people killed on Saturday when militants linked to the Easter Sunday bombings opened fire and blew themselves up during a fierce gun battle with security forces in the Sri Lanka’s Eastern province. The shootout occurred as the security forces continued their hunt for members of the NTJ that carried out the attacks. Meanwhile, the special panel appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to probe the attacks will release its report on May 6. The special panel was appointed to report on the alleged security lapse which paved the way for the local jihadist group NTJ to carry out the attacks.

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