Sri lanka security forces
Security forces patrol outside St. Anthony's Church, one of the targets in a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels on Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 27, 2019.Xinhua/A. Hapuarachchi/IANS

It is one week since Sri Lanka was the target for a series of bomb blasts which killed more than 350 people and injured over 500. The Ministry of External Affairs of the Indian government advised citizens to not travel to Sri Lanka unless it is an unavoidable or an emergency situation.

"In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on 21 April 2019, Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel," the ministry said in a statement.

Along with it, it said, "The Government of Sri Lanka has beefed up the security in the country. A nation-wide emergency including night time curfew is in place at present which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka."

The MEA added, "In case of those undertaking essential travels, they can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo or the Assistant HC in Kandy/Consulates in Hambantota & Jaffna in case of requirement of any assistance. Helpline no. of the Indian HC are available on the Mission's website."

The ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the attack citing revenge for the mosque shootings which took place in Christchurch, New Zealand in March.

The bombings in Sri Lanka took place in churches and high-end hotels across the tiny island nation on Easter.

Moulvi Zahran Hashim, mastermind behind Srilankan suicide bomb blasts
Moulvi Zahran Hashim, mastermind behind Srilankan suicide bomb blastsYouTube

After the attacks, the Sri Lankan began a manhunt for all ISIS sympathisers who could have a potential link to the bombings. One of them was Zahran Hashim, a key operative of the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ). Hashim, who is believed to have pledged his allegiance to ISIS, is said to be the mastermind behind the attacks. He was found dead in a hotel room on Colombo and authorities believe that he was killed in the Easter attacks.

On April 26, Friday, the Sri Lankan troops with the assistance of the police ambushed a safe house of ISIS sympathisers. 15 people were killed in the encounter out of which, four are believed to be suicide bombers who blew themselves up. Six children and three women were also killed in the gunfight.

The incident took place in Kalmunai, located in the eastern part of Sri Lanka. After the attacks, ISIS' al-Amaq news agency took responsibility for the attacks saying that 17 jihadis were killed in an encounter. They mentioned that the encounter took place in Kalmunai, thus confirming that the Sri Lankan troop did carry out an encounter killing those connected with the extremist group operating out of the Middle East.