One of the suicide bombers in Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks studied in the UK.
At a press conference this morning, the country’s Deputy Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said: We believe one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and then maybe later on did his postgraduate in Australia, before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka.
He added that the attackers were well educated and financially independent.
Here is what we know on Wednesday morning:
:: One of the attackers studied in the UK
:: There were nine suicide bombers – eight of which have been identified
:: One of the bombers was a woman, who killed herself as police raided her home
:: 60 people have been arrested – all of which are Sri Lankan nationals
:: 32 people are still in custody
:: Sri Lanka’s PM admitted attacks could have been stopped
:: Bomber of the Shangri-La hotel is named as Insan Seelavan
:: Number of confirmed deaths has risen to 359
The deputy minister revealed that there were nine suicide bombers, and eight of those have been identified.
He said that 60 people have been arrested on possible links to the attacks and 32 of those are still in custody – all of which are Sri Lankan.
It comes as the country’s prime minister said yesterday that they had intel that could have stopped attacks, if it had been passed on correctly.
Police have been investigating whether warnings of attacks were ignored or missed before the violence began, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has confirmed there was a breakdown of communication.
The bomber who attacked the Shangri-La hotel has been identified by police as Insan Seelavan, a factor owner.
Police say when a team entered a house in a Colombo suburb for a search, a suicide bomber, thought to be the wife of the owner of the house, killed themselves, causing the concrete floor of the two-storey building to come crashing down.
The owner of the house, Ibrahim, is also in police custody and it’s reported that two of the his sons were bombers.
More arrests are likely to happen over the coming days and it was suggested that there could be more people out there planning to do more harm, but the deputy defence minister would not confirm to Sky News whether this meant that the ninth suspect was still on the run.
The deputy defence minister also told the press conference that an explosion in Colombo earlier in the day was a controlled blast on a motorbike near the Savoy cinema.
At a separate press conference this morning, the US ambassador Alaina Teplitz said clearly there was some failure in the system, ahead of the bombings and that she had no prior knowledge of a threat.
The leader of Sri Lanka’s parliament Lakshman Kiriella has claimed that senior officials deliberately withheld the intelligence about attacks, saying: Some top intelligence officials hid the intelligence information purposefully.
Information was there, but the top brass security officials did not take appropriate actions.
Somebody is controlling these top intelligence officials… The Security Council is doing politics. We need to investigate into this.
Police on Wednesday morning said the number of confirmed dead in the attacks has risen to 359.