Sri Lankan government to expedite Easter Sunday bombings probe: Minister

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Colombo, Dec 5 (PTI) Sri Lankan government will expedite the ongoing probe of Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 258 people, including 11 Indians, last year, a senior Cabinet minister said on Saturday.

Nine suicide bombers, belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) linked to ISIS, carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, killing 258 people and injuring over 500 on April 21, 2019.

'Sri Lankan government will expedite the ongoing probe of Easter Sunday suicide bombing. I will meet the Attorney General on Monday to see how we could proceed,' Sarath Weerasekera, the minister of public security, told Parliament.

He was reacting to an Opposition lawmaker charging that the current government appeared not interested now to carry on with the probe.

Niroshan Perera, the Opposition member told parliament, that the head of the local Catholic Church Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith had just a few days ago had expressed doubt if the investigations were leading nowhere.

Ranjith said if the current government showed no genuine interest in the investigations to see its conclusion the Catholic minority would lose confidence in the government.

Assuring there was no attempt to sweep the investigation under the carpet, Weerasekera said the legal process would be expedited from next week.

Weerasekera said 257 people have been arrested and 86 of them are currently under detention orders while 172 are in remand custody. PTI COR RUP RUP