Sri Lanka Army’s chief has said some of the suicide bombers who were responsible for the country’s worst terror attack on Easter Sunday last month had visited Kashmir and Kerala for “some sorts of training” or to “make some more links” with other foreign outfits.
Nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500.
“They have gone to India, they’ve gone to Kashmir, Bangalore (Bengaluru); they’ve travelled to Kerala State. Those are the information available with us,” said Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake in an interview to the BBC on Thursday.
Asked what activities they were doing in Kashmir and Kerala, the Army chief added: “Not exactly, but definitely in some sorts of training or to make some more links towards the other organisations outside the country”.
Asked why Sri Lanka was targeted, the Commander said: “Too much of freedom, too much of peace for the last 10 years. People forget what happened for 30 years. People are enjoying peace and they neglected security”.
President Maithripala Sirisena had blamed the security establishment for failing to communicate several warnings they had about potential attacks, including that from India hours before the first bomb.
Senanayake said that, “We had some information and intelligence-sharing, situations and military intelligence on a different direction and the others were different and there was a gap that everybody could see today”.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has carried out several raids in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to unearth Indian links with the Sri Lanka blasts that killed more than 253 persons on Easter Sunday.