Sri Lanka Bomber Studied In UK

24 April 2019, 07:06

A priest conducts religious rituals during a mass burial for Easter Sunday bomb blast victims
A priest conducts religious rituals during a mass burial for Easter Sunday bomb blast victims. Picture: PA

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a series of terror attacks in Sri Lanka which killed at least 321 people including eight Britons.

Officials in Sri Lanka have revealed one of the Easter Sunday attackers studied in the UK.

“We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and later did his postgraduate studies in Australia,” said Ruwan Wijewardene, the state minister for defence, at a media briefing on Wednesday.

Theresa May spoke with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Mrs May offered specialist police support to assist with investigations.

Specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command have been sent to the country to support the bereaved, while Scotland Yard has asked for images or video taken during the attacks.

Mass funerals took place in Sri Lanka for some of the victims on Tuesday, which was declared a national day of mourning.

Among the British victims were Anita Nicholson, her son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11, who died when one of seven suicide bombers struck as they ate breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo.

Londoner Matthew Linsey's daughter Amelie, 15, and son Daniel, 19, were killed in the same blast on the final day of their holiday.

GP Sally Bradley and her husband Bill Harrop, a retired firefighter, from Manchester, died in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel bombing.

The eighth victim is reported to be Lorraine Campbell, 55, from Manchester, with the Daily Mail saying she was staying at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on a business trip.

Wijewardene said the investigation was continuing and authorities expected to make further arrests in the coming days.

“We can firmly say in the next couple of days our security agencies will have the situation of this country firmly under control,” he said.