FBI assisting Sri Lankan government with Easter bombing investigation
The U.S. Embassy inSri Lankasaid early Wednesday that FBI agents are inside the country to assist the in the investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 350 people.
The FBI’s arrival comes a day after a Sri Lankan defense minister, citing a “preliminary investigation,” said the attack was carried out by Islamic extremists in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attacksthat killed 50 people last month.
The FBI’s assistance was part of the support extended byPresident Trump, the embassy said. The embassy did not immediately elaborate.
Police said the death toll has risen to 359 and more suspects have been arrested. A police spokesman also said Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58. The prime minister warned on Tuesday that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large.
Sri Lankan officials have blamed the domestic militant groupNational Thowfeek Jamaathfor the bombings and authorities revealed the little-known outfit likely received assistance in carrying out the horrific plot.
ISIShas also claimed responsibility for the attacks but investigators are still determining the extent of the bombers’ foreign links.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.