April 27 (UPI) — Sixteen people have been killed, including six children, in a shootout with police in a raid in Sri Lanka to pursue suspects in Easter bombings, authorities said.
The shootout between police and alleged terrorists in the raided home in eastern Sri Lanka also left two suspected terrorists on the run, authorities said.
The raid occurred late Friday in the town of Sainthamaruthu on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast as police were on the hunt for potential suspects in the Easter Sunday suicide attacks that killed 253 people.
Initial reports in local media showed that military troops had found 15 bodies, including six children, and another woman and child were hospitalized.
Daybreak exposed the dead bodies and roof blown off the building.
Six suspected terrorists and 10 civilians were among those killed, including one woman who was passing on a rickshaw at the time of the raid.
Authorities seized explosives, uniforms and Islamic State flags earlier Friday a few miles from the shootout.
The U.S. State Department warned Friday that “terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks.”
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for nine coordinated suicide bombings on Easter Sunday.
On Thursday, Sri Lanka’s director general for health services listed the death toll at 253, down from 359.