Sri Lanka terror attacks: Death count rises to 359, more suspects arrested

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New Delhi:

The death count in the deadly Easter blasts in Sri Lanka rose to 359, reported news agency AFP on Wednesday. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara also said on Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58. The Prime Minister warned on Tuesday that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large, reported news agency AP. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the dastardly terror attack through a series of eight blasts. The group, however, did not give any evidence to back its claim, according to Reuters.

According to an intelligence website, which monitors jihadist activities, the terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency.

“Those that carried out the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday are Islamic State group fighters,” said a statement released by Amaq.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka has initiated a plan to ban the burqa as interrogation of suspects and other evidence are pointing to the involvement of a large number of women in the blasts.

The government is planning to implement the move in consultation with the mosque authorities, the Daily Mirror reported quoting sources.

"The government, he said (source), is planning to implement the move in consultation with the mosque authorities and on Monday several ministers had spoken to President Maithripala Sirisena on the matter," the paper reported the source as saying. 

If Sri Lanka adopts the burqa ban, it would join the group of nations in Asia, Africa, and Europe that have done so in the interest of preventing terrorists from using the burqa to evade police or hide explosives. 

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