Police say the death toll in the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka has risen to 359 and more suspects have been arrested.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara also said Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58. The Prime Minister however warned on Tuesday that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large
The Daesh group has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks and released images that purported to show the attackers.
“Their thinking is that Islam can be the only religion in this country,” Ruwan Wijewardene told reporters.
The group, which has lost all the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria, has made a series of unsupported claims of responsibility for various attacks around the world.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s president has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and national police chief after security forces ignored intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before Easter bombings that killed over 350 people, the president’s office said Wednesday.
Seven suicide bombers took part in the attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka that initially killed 290 people and wounded more than 500, as eight serial blasts rocked Sri Lanka early on Easter Sunday.
Four of the bombs went off at roughly the same time on Sunday, at 8.45 a.m., with two others coming within 20 minutes. The later explosions took place in the afternoon.
Reports claim that the suicide bombings at the churches, hotels and other sites were carried out by militants in apparent retaliation for the New Zealand mosque massacre last month.