- Speaking to the press on Friday, Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, said that every house in the country would be searched to find the terrorists responsible for the Easter bombings.
- With a nation of 22 million people, such an effort would be difficult to accomplish.
- Meanwhile, soldiers got into gunfights with terrorists in two eastern cities on Friday as they conducted raids in their investigation into the deadly bombings.
Sri Lanka’s president says every household in the country will be searched to weed out the terrorists responsible for carrying out the deadly Easter Sunday bombings.
Speaking at a press conference at his residence in Colombo on Friday, President Maithripala Sirisena said that a “major search operation has been undertaken.”
“Every household in the country will be checked. The lists of permanent residents of every house will be established to ensure no unknown persons could live anywhere,” he said, according to a press release from his office.
It’s unclear whether such a search effort is practical, or even possible, in a country of 22 million – just slightly smaller than the population of Australia.
Security forces in Sri Lanka have responded in full force to the bombings at churches and hotels in three cities, which left more than 250 dead.
On Friday, soldiers got into gunfights in two eastern cities as they conducted raids to try and find the 140 people with links to ISIS that they believe are hiding in the country.
“The government has already been able to crack down on many criminals, suspects and those responsible for the recent attacks and many arrests have taken place,” Sirisena said. “Therefore, I truly believe that we can avoid a repetition of such gruesome acts of violence in the future.”
Sirisena also said that he has asked the country’s defense secretary and inspector general of the police to resign because they failed to inform him when they received warnings an attack was coming.
“It was a serious lapse on their part and shirk of responsibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, Catholic services in the country have been suspended, while Muslims were asked to stay at home for Friday prayers.
The attacks, believed to have been carried out by Islamist extremists, targeted Christian churches and luxury hotels popular with foreign tourists. Sri Lanka is a majority Buddhist country with Muslims and Christians accounting for 9.7% and 1.3% of the population respectively, according to the CIA World Factbook.
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- Why the death toll from the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka was revised downward by roughly 100 people
- The wealthy spice trader father of 2 of the Sri Lanka bombing suspects has been arrested and accused of aiding his sons
- US ambassador to Sri Lanka says the scale of the Easter Sunday attacks suggests bombers may have had foreign support
- How more than 300 people died in Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings even though the government knew it was coming