Relatives of Sri Lanka suicide bombings mastermind wounded in gun battle

The shootout at a safe house erupted on April 26, 2019, in Sainthamaruthu, in Ampara district on the east coast.
The shootout at a safe house erupted on April 26, 2019, in Sainthamaruthu, in Ampara district on the east coast.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

COLOMBO (REUTERS) - The wife and a daughter of the suspected mastermind of the suicide attacks on churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka were wounded in a gun battle that erupted following a raid in the east of the country, police and his sister said on Saturday (April 27).

The shootout at a safe house erupted on Friday in Sainthamaruthu, in Ampara district on the east coast, as police hunted for people linked to Zaharan Hashim, who has been named as the ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings.

"Yes, the wife and daughter were injured in the attack," said Mathaniya, Zaharan's sister.

"I was asked to come to identify them, but I am not sure I can go, " she told Reuters from the town of Kattankudy in the east.

Police officials said the injured were believed to be Zaharan's relatives.

At least 15 people, including six children, were killed in the gun battle, a military spokesman said earlier.