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A Week After Attacks, a 'Gruesome Scene' in Sri Lanka

At least 16 dead after police raid in Sainthamaruthu
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2019 7:30 AM CDT
Sri Lankan police and army soldiers secure the site after an explosion and a gunbattle in Kalmunai, in eastern Sri Lanka, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Achala Upendra)
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(Newser) – Not even a week after the Easter weekend attacks in Sri Lanka, a "gruesome scene" unfolded after a police raid that resulted in at least 16 dead. Per CNN, the raid and subsequent shootout between Sri Lankan security forces and suspected militants took place Friday in Sainthamaruthu, on the nation's east coast, with authorities reporting the deaths of six terror suspects and 10 civilians, including six children. One of the civilians who perished was said to be a woman simply passing by on a rickshaw when the gunfire erupted.

One of the dead suspects is believed to be the brother-in-law of Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind behind the Easter attacks. ABC News reports that the suspects also set off explosives during the raid, resulting in chaos that one local man tells CNN lasted more than four hours. "I stayed inside as there were people firing, people getting killed," he says. "Now at night I won't be sleeping, I'm too afraid." A Sri Lankan military commander says one injured suspect got away on a motorcycle, and another may also have escaped. (Read more Sri Lanka stories.)

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