Drug gangs behind Sri Lanka Easter bombings, President Sirisena claims

COLOMBO – International drug syndicates orchestrated Sri Lanka’s deadly Easter Sunday bombings, the country’s leader claimed on Monday (July 15), despite earlier blaming the attacks on Islamists.

The statement comes amid a nationwide narcotics crackdown, with President Maithripala Sirisena aiming to reintroduce capital punishment for drug offences.

Authorities have said local Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) were responsible for the suicide bombings in churches and hotels that killed at least 258 people in April. The attacks were later claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Mr Sirisena’s office said the day after the bombings that local terrorists and international terror groups were responsible for the attacks.

But in a statement issued by his office on Monday, Mr Sirisena said the attacks “were the work of international drug dealers”.

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