Sri Lanka is still reeling one week after a series of bomb blasts in churches and hotels across the country which claimed lives of 350 people and injured over 500.
A few days after the bombings on Sunday, April 21, the ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks saying that it was revenge for the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The security forces in the country have been tracking suspected who intelligence believe to have been behind the attacks. The most recent incident was on Friday night when 15 people were killed in an encounter, out of which, four men killed are suspected to have ISIS links.
However, six children and three women were also killed in the encounter which took place at 7 pm on April 26, Friday at Ampara, in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, reports Indian Express.
With intelligence from the police, the army closed in on a suspected ISIS safe house. When the inhabitants of the safe house knew of the ongoing outside, they set off three explosives which killed three women. The troops and the police casing the area retaliated with fire from their side.
When the police searched the hideout after the fight, they searched the house and found explosives, ISIS flags, detonators, acid bottles, gelignite sticks.
A press release on Friday by the army read, "Troops retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been stored."
According to the report, it added, "Security forces recovered explosives, detonators, gelignite sticks, acid bottles, detonating cords, ISIS flags and backdrops, suicide kits, military uniforms, from another safe house in Samanthurai area earlier in the evening."
Manhunt for ISIS supporters in Sri Lanka, South India
After the ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, Sri Lankan authorities began searching for those with connections to the jihadist group. Raids were conducted in many areas of Colombo. During the searches, explosives, and weapons were also recovered.
In India, a probe is set to be conducted regarding the state's youth connections with the ISIS and their involvement in the Sri Lankan blasts, if any. In Tamil Nadu, six young men were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for their alleged links to National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ)and its key operative, Zahran Hashim.
Hashim was found dead in a Colombo hotel a few days back. Sri Lankan intelligence has claimed that he was killed in one of the suicide blasts on Sunday.