A police officer stands inside a training camp allegedly linked to Islamist militants in Kattankudy, close to Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
KATTANKUDY (Reuters) – Sri Lankan police on Sunday found a 10-acre camp within the jap city of Kattankudy, the place Islamist militants linked to the lethal Easter assaults are believed to have practiced taking pictures and bombmaking.
The walled terrain is nestled in a poor residential space on the outskirts of the house city of Zahran Hashim, who’s believed to have been a key participant in plotting the April 21 assaults. Islamic State has claimed accountability for the church and lodge bombings that killed greater than 250 individuals.
The slim, sandy plot is dotted with a cinderblock four-storey watchtower, in addition to mango timber, a rooster coop and a goat shed.
“They wanted to show this place was normal. If someone comes to see, it looks like a farm. But what they were doing is terrorism,” mentioned a senior police officer within the Batticaloa space, asking to stay nameless as a result of he was not licensed to talk to media.
Police discovered bullet holes within the wall on one aspect of the grounds, in addition to lengthy tubes suspected of holding bombs, the officer mentioned.
Two homeowners of the plot of land have been arrested, the officer mentioned.
Reporting by Reporting By Alexandra Ulmer and Omar Rajarathnam in KATTANKUDY, further reporting by Shihar Aneez in COLOMBO; Editing by A. Ananthalakshmi and David Goodman