Sri Lanka soldiers in gun battle with Easter Sunday terror suspects

Sri Lankan soldiers are in a gun battle with suspects linked to the Easter attacks in Eastern Province, a military spokesman has said.

Earlier today, the Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) were seen standing guard outside mosques in Colombo ahead of Friday noon prayers.

The authorities yesterday lowered the death toll from the Easter suicide bombings by nearly one-third, to 253.

The previous figure stood at 359 and the massive miscalculation was blamed on the devastating blasts causing so much damage that some bodies were beyond recognition, making identification difficult.

Nine bombers co-ordinated blasts targeting churches and hotels in the country, killing hundreds – including eight Britons – and injuring hundreds more.

Brits were also warned against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka by the Foreign Office following the Easter Sunday bombings.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘Our hope is that it will be possible to change this when the current security operation has concluded.

‘My first priority will always be the security of British citizens living and travelling abroad.’

One suicide bomber reportedly educated in the UK was radicalised after leaving Britain, his sister has said.