SI, two Police officers die during scuffle with suspect at Dematagoda | Daily News

SI, two Police officers die during scuffle with suspect at Dematagoda

Van seized, 13 suspects arrested, Social Media blocked

Three Police officers including a Sub-Inspector attached the to Colombo Crimes Division died during a scuffle with a suspect who was arrested at a residence in Mahawela lane in Dematagoda yesterday, Police Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera confirmed.

Police were led to the Demtagoda house based on intelligence information of a suspicious individual who is believed to be linked to the assailants who set off a string of explosions at multiple locations in Colombo.

Police Spokesperson confirmed that the explosion at the Katuwapitiya Church was that of a suicide bomber. He however declined to comment if the others were part of an elaborate or coordinated attack adding that the Colombo Crimes Division and the Criminal Investigation Department were conducting investigations.

“We can confirm 207 fatalities while 450 others have been injured in the multiple attacks in Colombo and outstation,” he said adding that a police curfew had been imposed immediately following the attack at Demtagoda in an effort to ensure the safety and security of civilians whilst preventing further attacks. Security has been beefed up at the hospitals as well as government institutions islandwide.

Referring to a communiqué which was widely circulated on social media which alleges that the police had prior intelligence of attacks, he said that the veracity of the document is being investigated and to comment on it would be premature.

The Police have so far arrested three Sri Lankans who are believed to be linked to the attacks while four others have been taken in for further questioning. Police spokesperson however confirmed that all the attacks took place between 8:45 am and 9:30 am yesterday.

Aside from the attacks at the Churches during the Easter Sunday congregation, there was also an explosion reported at a banquet hall in Dehiwala. To avoid the reoccurrence of such incidents, the Police have launched a special operation islandwide along with the Special Task Force and the Tri-forces.

Two hotlines have been opened to receive and respond to emergencies, this includes the police hotline (0112322485) while foreigners are requested to call on (0112323015).

A van allegedly used to transport suspects and explosives was seized by the Police yesterday evening at Ramakrishna Road in Wellawatte. Police sources said the Van belonged to a person in the Moratuwa area. The Police suspect at least three vans were used to transport suspects and explosives. The Police are conducting further investigations on the detection.

Police said the driver of the van too has been arrested. Police has also identified a house in Sarikkamulla in Panadura as the location that some of the suspects involved in the attack had resided temporarily.

The government has taken action to temporarily block all the social media platforms following the bomb attacks. yesterday. Several Five Star hotels in Colombo were temporarily closed yesterday following the bomb explosions at several churches and five-star hotels. When inquired authorities at several hotels said they were not taking any new reservations until the situation is brought under control. 

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