Suicide bombers cornered by security forces in a hideout in eastern Sri Lanka blew themselves up in a raid which left 15 people dead, including six children, police said on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
A civilian was also killed in crossfire during the night-time raid near the predominantly Muslim town of Kalmunai, with hundreds of families later fleeing their homes.
Kalmmunai is in the home province of the jihadist suspected of organising the Easter Sunday attacks that left 253 dead.
Three men set off explosives killing three women and six children inside the house on Friday night, police said.
“Three other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the house,” said a police statement. Police officials said all three were shot by security forces.
Gunmen opened fire on troops when they attempted to storm the house under cover of darkness, military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said.
An ensuing gun battle lasted more than an hour, a military official said, adding that the bodies were recovered following a search operation.
Charred bodies and at least one gunman cradling an assault rifle, were seen in video footage shown on state television.
Explosives, a generator, a drone and a large quantity of batteries were seen inside the house.
Some 600 Muslims fled a neighbouring settlement built to house displaced survivors of the 2004 Asian tsunami because of the fighting and took shelter in a school, residents said.
The civilian was hit in crossfire and died while a wounded woman and child were taken to hospital.
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