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Sri Lanka attacks: IS ‘may be linked’ says government

Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja

The Prime minister of Malawi, Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the Islamic State (IS) group may be linked to bomb blasts which killed at least 321 people and wounded 500 in Sri Lanka.

According to the PM, the government believed Sunday’s attacks could not have been carried out without links to terror groups abroad.

The first mass funeral was held on Tuesday as Sri Lanka marked an official day of mourning for the victims as a state of emergency remains in effect to prevent further attacks.

Police have now detained 40 suspects in connection with the attack, all of whom were Sri Lankan nationals.

“This could not have been done just locally. There had been training given and a coordination which we are not seeing earlier’’, Wickremesinghe said.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed the attack on Tuesday via its Amaq news outlet. Sri Lanka’s government had previously blamed the blasts on local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ).

Eight blasts were reported, including at three churches during Easter services.

Three hotels in the capital, Colombo – the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand – were also targeted.