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Sri Lanka’s defense secretary and national police chief asked to resign

Sri Lanka bombings
A security officer stands guard outside St. Anthony’s Shrine where bombing was carried out on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – Sri Lanka’s president has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and the national police chief after security forces failed to act on warnings before Easter suicide bombings that killed over 350 people.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s office announced that he asked for the resignations Wednesday. It wasn’t immediately clear who would replace them.

U.S. ambassador Alaina Teplitz says America had “no prior knowledge” of a threat in Sri Lanka.

Teplitz said there was a “right-sized” team of FBI agents and U.S. military officials assisting Sri Lanka in the investigation. Teplitz also said “clearly there was some failure in the system” for Sri Lanka prior to Easter bombings.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, which struck churches and hotels in the island nation. A Sri Lankan official has blamed breakaway members of two obscure local extremist Muslim groups.

A total of 58 people have been arrested in connection to the Easter Sunday suicide bombings have killed at least 359 people.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

Associated Press

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