Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe leaves after testifying in front of a parliamentary committee investigating the Islamic State-inspired Easter Sunday bomb attacks, at the parliament complex in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Wickremesinghe said the coordinated suicide bomb attacks in three churches and three tourist hotels on April 21 were the result of the security apparatus failing to follow the transition of religious extremists into terrorists, adding that the country should prepare itself to face new forms of terrorism prevalent in other countries. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka PM: Country must prepare for new terrorism phase

August 06, 2019 - 1:04 pm

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's prime minister has testified before a parliamentary committee investigating the Islamic State-inspired Easter Sunday bomb attacks and has said the country should prepare itself for new types of terrorism.

Ranil Wickremesinghe said Tuesday that existing policing, investigative agencies and laws had experience with ethnic Tamil separatists during Sri Lanka's civil war but the country must now deal with "a new phase of terrorism."

Wickremesinghe says police already knew about some suspects but the April 21 suicide bomb attacks at three churches and three tourist hotels were the result of the security system failing to track the transition of religious extremists into terrorists.

The government has been criticized for failing to act upon intelligence received from foreign agencies before the attacks that killed more than 250 people.

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