Sri Lankan Blast: President Maithripala Sirisena Extends Emergency by Month
File image of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (Photo Credit: PTI)

Colombo, May 22: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday extended by a month the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 260 people.

The president issued a special gazette notification extending the state of emergency by a month, citing "public security". The emergency law gives police and the military extensive powers to arrest, detain and interrogate suspects without court orders. Serial Blasts In Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Churches And Hotels Hit; Nearly 156 People Dead, Over 400 Injured.

Sri Lanka initially imposed the emergency on April 23 to crack down on the nine suicide bombers who attacked three churches and as many luxury hotels April 21, killing more than 258 people and injuring 500 others.

The ISIS terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed the local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the Ester Sunday bombings. Following the deadly blasts, anti-Muslim riots broke out in the north of the capital as a backlash against the attacks.

The riots killed one person and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and mosques. Sri Lanka faced condemnation for the communal violence which was a fresh backlash from the Easter Sunday attack. Police say they have arrested over 80 suspects in connection with the attack.