Sri Lanka, Apr 26 (AP/UNB) — Australia's prime minister says the Sri Lankan militants blamed for the Easter attacks in that country had support from the Islamic State group.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters Friday that ties between the local group and Islamic State included identifying the targets of the attacks. Sunday's attacks killing at least 253 people primarily struck three churches that were packed with Easter worshippers and three luxury hotels popular with foreigners.
Morrison said the attacks demonstrated a new front in fighting terrorism, that militants who fought in Syria and Iraq had returned home with skills to carry out attacks while being part of a broader network that could provide money, training and target identification.
Heavy security is out on the streets of Sri Lanka's capital after warnings of further attacks by the militant group blamed for the Easter bombing that killed at least 250 people.
At St. Anthony's Church, one of those struck in the attacks Sunday, there were more soldiers than normal Friday. Shops nearby remained closed.
Gration Fernando crossed himself when he looked at the church after walking out of his shop there. Fernando says he, like other Sri Lankans, was worried about further attacks.
He says there's "no security, no safety to go to church." He also says "now children are scared to go to church" as well.
Authorities told Muslims to pray at home rather than attend communal Friday prayers that's the most important of the week.