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Islamist terror leader wanted for Sri Lanka bombings was one of the suicide bombers, died in a hotel bombing

Zahran Hashim was seen in the video circulated by Islamic State claiming to be responsible for the attacks

Zahran Hashim, an Islamist extremist wanted for the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka was killed during the attack at Hotel Shangri-La. He is confirmed to have led the attack in the Colombo hotel.

President Maithripala Sirisena told reporters, “What intelligence agencies have told me is that Zahran was killed during the Shangri-La attack”.

He also said that a second bomber, identified as “Ilham”, had accompanied Hashim while he was leading the attack. A CCTV footage examined by the military officials had confirmed his involvement in the attack.

Reportedly, Hashim had led the group involved in the attack – the National Thowheeth Jama’ath. Security forces first identified him in the video circulated by Islamic State claiming to be responsible for the attacks. Hashim was seen leading a group of seven men in an oath of allegiance to the IS chief.

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Following this, the security forces have been on a desperate hunt for the 40-year-old prime suspect, his location was unclear post the attacks.

Local Muslim leaders say that they have reported him several occasions for his extremist views and behaviour, yet no action had been taken against him. More than 250 people have died during the attacks despite being warned by intelligence agencies. The casualties would have been worse, luckily a fourth church had escaped the attack as it had ended its Easter Sunday mass early

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