An extremist believed to have played a key role in Sri Lanka´s deadly Easter bombings died in an attack on a Colombo hotel, the country´s president confirmed Friday. “What intelligence agencies have told me is that Zahran was killed during the Shangri-La attack,” President Maithripala Sirisena told reporters, referring to Zahran Hashim, leader of a local extremist group.
Hashim appeared in a video released by the Islamic State group after they claimed the bombings, but his whereabouts after the blasts were not immediately clear. Sirisena did not immediately clarify what Hashim´s role was in the attack on the Shangri-La, one of six bomb blasts that killed over 250 people on Sunday.
Security forces had been on a desperate hunt for Hashim, believed to be around 40, after the government named the group he led — the National Thowheeth Jama´ath — as its prime suspect.
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25 August, 2019