Easter bombers had visited Kashmir, Kerala and Karnataka: Sri Lanka army chief

The chief of Sri Lanka’s army has said some of the suicide bombers who carried out April 21 serial bombings in his country had travelled to regions such as Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala in India.

According to an interview with the BBC published online on Friday, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayke said: “They had gone to India, travelling to Bangalore, Kashmir and Kerala state, (according to) information available with us,” Senanayke said.

Asked if he was aware of the purpose of those visits, the army commander replied: “It would have been for some sort of a training or to establish links with other organisations outside the country”.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers killed at least 253 people and injured some 500 at churches and top-end hotels across Sri Lanka.

Most victims were Sri Lankans, but at least 38 foreigners are among the dead, including British, Indian and US citizens.

The official death toll had reached 359 by Thursday. However, the Sri Lankan government then revised the figure down, blaming a calculation error.