Lanka court extends remand of 61 suspects till Feb 12

Easter attack: Lanka court extends remand of 61 suspects till Feb 12

Sri Lankan court on Thursday extended till February 12 the remand of 61 people arrested in connection with the deadly Easter Sunday bombings.

All the 61 suspects are members of the local Islamist extremist group, National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ), police said.

The Batticaloa High Court extended their remand till February 12, they said.

Nine suicide bombers on April 21 last year carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many high-end hotels, killing 258 people, including Indians, in Lanka's deadliest violence since the brutal civil war ended in 2009.

The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government blamed the NTJ for the bombings. Nearly 300 suspects have been arrested so far.

A state of emergency was clamped in the country for a period of four months from April to August.

Earlier this week, police recorded the statement of former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the bombings.

The government headed jointly by Wickremesinghe and then president Maithripala Sirisena was blamed for failing to prevent the island's worst terror attack despite prior intelligence.