Sri Lanka Attacks: Family Members of Mastermind Zahran Hashim Killed during Shootout with Armed Forces
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Sri Lanka Attacks: Family Members of Mastermind Zahran Hashim Killed during Shootout with Armed Forces 

On Friday, the father and two brothers of Zahran Hashim, mastermind behind the Sri Lanka attacks, died in an encounter with the police after they raided a house on the country’s east coast. Hashim was the leader and one of the suicide bombers responsible for the serials blasts that took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

His father Mohamed Hashim and his two brothers, Rilwan Hashim and Zainee Hashim, were among the 15 people killed during the shootout that occurred on April 26.

Zahran Hashim blew himself during the Easter suicide attacks at a lodge in Colombo. His father and brothers had made a hate video a couple of days earlier. In the video, they asked all Muslims globally to participate earnestly in the war against non-Muslims.

In the video, both the brothers can be seen as instilling hate for the non-Muslims. Rilwan, one of the brothers of Zahran Hashim said, “We will destroy these infidel dogs. . . . Our people should prepare for jihad. . . . We will plant our flag and teach a lesson to these infidel dogs who are destroying Muslims.”

Zainee, another brother asked the disciples to leave their jobs and take part in jihad against nonbelievers.

The shootout occurred when the troops approached the house after receiving intelligence from the locals.

As per the locals, two men rented a three room house in Sainthamaruthu area of Kalmunai just a few days before the attacks. Mohammed Majid,  secretary of the Grand Masjid Sainthamaruthu mosque, told the media that they became suspicious after more people joined them.

After the end of the evening prayers on Friday, a group of men from the local Hijra Mosque went to the house to enquire about the occupants. Soon, one man showed them an assault rifle, after which they fled and alerted the armed forces.

As the armed forces approached the house, the gunmen began to open fire while three others detonated the bombs, killing six children and three women along with them.

Sri Lankan authorities suspect that more suicide bombings could take place. Around 10,000 soldiers have been positioned across the island to search and apprehend members of NTJ and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim. The authorities have arrested more than 100 people till now, which also include the citizens of Syria and Egypt.

On Sunday, Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said that the wife and daughter of Zahran Hashim survived the attacks. They are in the hospital under police protection at the moment.

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