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Sri Lanka: President extends emergency

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on today extended by a month the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 260 people. The president issued a special gazette notification extending the state of emergency by a month, citing “public security”.

The emergency law gives police and the military extensive powers to arrest, detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.

Sri Lanka initially imposed the emergency on April 23 to crack down on the nine suicide bombers who attacked three churches and as many luxury hotels April 21, killing more than 258 people and injuring 500 others. The ISIS terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed the local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the Easter Sunday bombings.

Following the deadly blasts, anti-Muslim riots broke out in the north of the capital as a backlash against the attacks. The riots killed one person and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and mosques.

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