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Shootout in Sri Lanka raid on Easter bombing suspects kills 16

By Sommer Brokaw
Shootout in Sri Lanka raid on Easter bombing suspects kills 16
Bullets lie on ground Saturday at the site after a gun battle in Sainthamaruthu, Sri Lanka between suspected terrorists and military troops that left 16 people dead. Photo by EPA

April 27 (UPI) -- Sixteen people have been killed, including six children, in a shootout with police in a raid in Sri Lanka to pursue suspects in Easter bombings, authorities said.

The shootout between police and alleged terrorists in the raided home in eastern Sri Lanka also left two suspected terrorists on the run, authorities said.

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The raid occurred late Friday in the town of Sainthamaruthu on Sri Lanka's eastern coast as police were on the hunt for potential suspects in the Easter Sunday suicide attacks that killed 253 people.

Initial reports in local media showed that military troops had found 15 bodies, including six children, and another woman and child were hospitalized.

Daybreak exposed the dead bodies and roof blown off the building.

Six suspected terrorists and 10 civilians were among those killed, including one woman who was passing on a rickshaw at the time of the raid.

Authorities seized explosives, uniforms and Islamic State flags earlier Friday a few miles from the shootout.

The U.S. . State Department warned Friday that "terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks."

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The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for nine coordinated suicide bombings on Easter Sunday.

On Thursday, Sri Lanka's director general for health serviceslisted the death toll at 253, down from 359.

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