Sirisena: NTJ, Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) banned

Sirisena: NTJ, Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) banned

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka president Maithiripala Sirisena has banned two local Muslim groups – National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) one week after a series of bomb blasts that happened last week.

The bomb blasts that happened on Easter Sunday caused the death of more than 250 people. Another 600 are injured.

Police believe the suspected mastermind of the bombings, Hashim Zahran, led either the NTJ or a splinter group. Less is known about Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim, whose members are also believed to have played a role in the bombings.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers have been deployed across the island to carry out searches and boost security since the bombings in three churches and four hotels, most of which were in the capital Colombo.

The number of detained have increased to 100, include Syrian and Egyptians.

Zahran’s family injured

The gun battle during a raid on a safe house in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district yesterday that killed 15 people also resulted in Zahran Hashim’s wife and daughter getting injured.

Zahran is the first suicide bomber that was identified.

“Yes, the wife and daughter were injured in the attack,” said Mohamed Hashim Mathaniya, sister of Zahran.

“I was asked to come to identify them but I am not sure I can go,” Reuters reported her as saying, from Kattankudy town in the east where Zahran was originally based.