By Dinuka Liyanawatte and Shihar Aneez SAINTHAMARUTHU/COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - As darkness fell in Sainthamaruthu village on Sri Lanka's east coast on Friday, troops and police prepared to storm a concrete shack that local residents had told them was a safe house for a band of Islamist militants. It was five days after suicide bomb blasts that killed more than 250 people and stunned a country that few expected to be a target of Islamist attacks. Many of the dead in Sunday's attacks were killed in Batticaloa, a town about 28 miles (46 km) north of Sainthamaruthu. On Friday evening, as the troops approached the house - a one-storey building on a narrow lane opposite an open drain - three explosions went off and they opened fire on the suspects holed up inside, according to the military. The wife and a daughter of the suspected mastermind of the suicide attacks, Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Zahran, were wounded in the ensuing gunbattle, police and his sister said on Saturday. Nearly 10,000 soldiers have been deployed across the island to carry out searches since the Easter Day attacks on three churches and four hotels, most of which were in the capital Colombo. Security forces have detained 100 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombings on the Buddhist-majority country, which would be one of the worst attacks carried out by the group outside Iraq and Syria. The Friday night shootout in the Muslim-dominated district of Ampara followed warnings from authorities that there were still militants at large plotting further strikes. The militants hiding there were suspected members of a domestic Islamist group, National Thawheedh Jamaath, the military said. The gunbattle ended before dawn, and as troops moved in on the ruined house they found the bodies of 15 people, including six children and three suspected suicide bombers, a military spokesman said. A large cache of explosives were found at the house, he said. The road outside was strewn with shoes and debris, and spattered with blood, said a Reuters witness, who saw bodies wrapped in cloth and body parts being carried away in fertilizer bags. Villagers had noticed unusual activity at the house on Friday, a resident told Reuters, adding that the suspected militants spoke arrogantly and refused to reveal their identity. "One of the persons in that house came for prayer to the mosque and he looked so suspicious," the resident said, who declined to be named because he feared for his own safety. The villagers went back to the house a second time, this time with a government official, but the suspects opened fire. They then informed the police, he said. After the shooting was over, about 500 village families were evacuated as troops began a seven-hour search of the area. "We never experienced this kind of scare, even during the LTTE war," the resident told Reuters over the phone, referring to the 26-year conflict between government forces and ethnic Tamil separatists that ended a decade ago. As the door-to-door search of the village continued, a soldier emerged from one house carrying an injured child in his arms. As the child was laid in a military vehicle, she called through tears for her father. The military said that as the search widened to Sammanthurai village nearby, they found a haul of explosives, detonators, acid bottles, Islamic State flags, suicide kits and military uniforms. (Reporting by Dinuka Liyanawatte in Kalmunai and Shihar Aneez in Colombo; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by John Chalmers and Frances Kerry)
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Christopher Scarver, who killed Jeffrey Dahmer in prison, said in 2015 that he did it because Dahmer taunted inmates with food
In 2015, Christopher Scarver, the inmate who killed Jeffrey Dahmer, said he did it because Dahmer taunted inmates by shaping his food into body parts.
Michael Jordan's 19-year-old driver is in hot water again, and one former champ says teens shouldn't be in NASCAR's top series
Ty Gibbs, the grandson of NFL legend and NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs, lost his cool and nearly got innocent bystanders seriously injured.
‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Reacts to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Return After Killing Him Off: ‘Everybody Chill… I’m All Good!’
“The Wolverine” and “Logan” director James Mangold initially reacted to the news that Hugh Jackman will reprise his eponymous mutant opposite Ryan Reynolds in “Deadpool 3” with a gif depicting the fatal scene in “Logan” in which Jackman’s character is killed off for good. The R-rated “Logan” was billed as Jackman’s Wolverine swan song, but […]
An off-duty Massachusetts National Guard member aggressively confronted a tour bus full of senior citizens thinking they were migrants
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"There was no room for debate, and I like to debate," Twain told singer Jessie Ware and her mother, Lennie, on the Table Manners podcast
- Business Insider
Trump asked British Prime Minister Theresa May to 'imagine if some animals with tattoos raped your daughter' in conversation about abortion: book
The former president also reportedly described then-Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian, as the "tough one" on abortion.
"Movie-making is very hard work over a very long period of time that consists of so many moments of joy slapped up against an equal number of feelings of self-loathing," the Oscar winner said.
- South Florida Sun Sentinel
Nearly all of Florida — except areas south of Lake Okeechobee and the Panhandle — is in the National Hurricane Center’s forecast cone for Hurricane Ian, forecasters said. The latest forecast track shows the hurricane making landfall near Englewood and Port Charlotte, then moving northeast toward Orlando and Central Florida. The Gulf coast from Bonita Springs north to Tarpon Springs is under a ...
No kid is immune to the occasional schoolyard fight. If someone makes you mad, your natural reaction may be to argue or hit back — but Prince George has a different strategy. In a recent disagreement at school, the 9-year-old allegedly had the cheekiest comeback for a kid, and it’s the most powerful flex about […]
- Miami Herald
This article tracking Hurricane Ian is available for free as a public service to all readers.
The children of Prince Joachim, Queen Margrethe's second son, will be counts and countess instead of princes and princess
- Miami Herald
The first fringes of winds, rain and tornadoes that come with Hurricane Ian reached Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on Tuesday night, and gave a nasty taste of what might be coming Wednesday.
Prince William and Kate Middleton just changed their social media account *again.* Earlier this month, when Queen Elizabeth II quietly passed away at the age of 96, the royal family faced several changes, including a new monarch—King Charles III—and title updates. Two members who were affected by this were Prince William and Kate Middleton. At first, the pair extended their titles from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall. Then, they gained another
- The New Voice of Ukraine
The first Russian reinforcements, called up as part of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilization”, have already been deployed to Ukrainian battlefields, presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych told former Russian lawyer Mark Feygin on his YouTube show on Sept. 27.
The Action News Jax First Alert Weather Team is continuing to track Hurricane Ian.
Anthony Bourdain Texts Published In New Biography Reveal Grim Final Days: “I Hate My Fans…I Hate Being Famous…I Hate My Job” – Report
A new unauthorized biography of Anthony Bourdain, which includes for the first time the celebrity chef’s text messages from the days leading up to his death by suicide in 2018, reveals Bourdain’s anguish over his career, his estranged marriage and his troubled romantic relationship with actor Asia Argento. Selections from the book Down and Out […]
Hurricane Ian formed Monday morning and it is forecast to impact Florida this week.
A slight shift was also made on the pages for Prince William and Kate Middleton, the new Prince and Princess of Wales
- Patriots Wire
One former Patriots assistant believes the high volume of turnovers could cost Mac Jones his job