Sri Lanka braces for fresh attacks by `uniformed' militants
29 April 2019
Security officials in Sri Lanka have warned that the Islamist militant group that carried out the Easter Sunday suicide bombings are now planning fresh attacks and that they could appear in military uniforms.
A week after the devastating Easter Sunday bombings, Sri Lanka has completely banned all face veils, including the burqa. President Maithripala Sirisena made the announcement late on Sunday in a press release.
According to the release, any form of face cover “that will hinder the identification of a person is banned under emergency regulations.”
“President Maithripala Sirisena took this decision to further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators,” the release added.
Securities also warned of a fresh wave of terror attack by the militants.
“There could be another wave of attacks,” the head of ministerial security division (MSD), a unit of the police, said in a letter to parliament and other officials.
“The relevant information further notes that persons dressed in military uniforms and using a van could be involved in the attacks.”
There were no attacks on Sunday, and security across Sri Lanka has been ramped up, with scores of suspected Islamists arrested since the 21 April attacks on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people, including 40 foreign nationals.
Authorities suspect members of two little known groups - National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim - of carrying out the Easter attacks, though Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
In India, police said they had raided the homes of three people in the southern state of Kerala, close to Sri Lanka, in connection with their links to Islamic State. They did not say if there was any connection to the attacks in Sri Lanka.