International desk – At least 15 people, six of whom are children, have been killed after soldiers launched an anti-militants raid in a suspected terrorists den in Sri Lanka, police said.
The terrorist are believed to have blown them up on Friday night in Sainthamaruthu, near the hometown of the suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday attacks that killed at least 250 people.
BBC reported quoting police that gunmen opened fire as troops attempted to raid a house. Three men set off explosives killing the children and three women. Three others died in gunfire, according to police.
One civilian was caught in the crossfire and died while a wounded woman and child were taken to hospital.
Video footage on state television showed charred bodies inside the house, one cradling a rifle. Explosives, a generator, a drone, and batteries were also visible.
Security forces raided another building in a nearby town where they said they found explosives and a drone. Some 600 Muslims fled the area as the raid unfolded and took shelter in a school, residents said.
Sri Lanka has been on high alert after the wave of Sunday’s bombings that also left more than 500 others injured. Christian worshippers at three churches and foreign tourists in three expensive hotels were targeted by the militants.
Islamic State claimed that its jihadists carried out the attacks, but the radical outfit could not produce evidence to defend its claim. Sri Lankan government blamed a home-grown terrorist outfit for the attacks.