Sri Lanka authorities: Suicide bomber attended Australian University

Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed one of the suicide bombers responsible for the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks attended an Australian university.

Sri Lankan Junior Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said the bomber completed his post-graduate education in Australia.

It comes after the death toll was revised up to 359.

“What I can say is this group, some of the suicide bombers, most of them are well educated and come from maybe middle or upper-middle class,” Mr Wijewardene said.

“Some of them have studied in various other countries, they hold degrees and they are quite well-educated people.

“We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and then maybe later on did his post-graduate in Australia before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka.”

Hundreds were killed and 500 injured in a series of coordinated blasts in churches and hotels, in Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended in 2009.

Questions are being raised regarding an alleged warning by the Sri Lankan Foreign Intelligence services prior to the attack, and whether enough was done to prevent it.
Sri Lanka police say they have confirmed there were nine suicide bombers. Eight have now been identified.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58.

Mr Wijewardene said authorities were still investigating the possibility of international links and residents were urged to be vigilant.

“I’m not saying that the country is 100 per cent [safe] at the moment … there could be still be a few people out there,” he said.

“Right now we are asking people to be vigilant but I think within a couple of days, within the next few days, we will have the situation totally under control.”