Fifteen people, including six children, died during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces as three cornered suicide bombers blew themselves up and others were shot dead, police said Saturday. The three men set off explosives killing three women and six children inside what was believed to an Islamist safe house near the eastern town of Kalmunai Friday night, police said.
“Three other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the house,” police said in a statement. Police backed by troops exchanged fire with those inside the house for over an hour, a military official said, adding that the bodies were recovered early Saturday following a search operation. Gunmen opened fire on troops when they attempted to storm the house under cover of darkness, military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said adding that a civilian had got caught in the crossfire and died.
The joint operation was carried out following a tip off that those responsible for the Easter suicide bombings were holed up in a built up area of Kalmunai, 370km east of the capital.