Sri Lanka’s president demands resignations of senior officials over terror attack

Police said they performed a controlled explosion near the cinema. (AFP/File)
Updated 24 April 2019

Sri Lanka’s president demands resignations of senior officials over terror attack

  • One of the nine bombers that detonated explosives in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday was a woman
  • More than 60 people have been arrested since the rash of Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks

DUBAI: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena asked for the resignations of defense secretary and national police chief after Easter bombings on Wednesday.

Earlier, Sri Lankan police carried out a controlled explosion near Savoy Cinema in Colombo.

There were no explosives in the vehicle, police said.

The Deputy Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene confirmed the details at a press conference in the city.

One of the nine bombers that detonated explosives in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday was a woman, he added.

More than 60 people have been arrested since the rash of Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.

Investigations confirm there were 9 suicide bombers and 8 have been identified, police said.

One of the bombers studied in the UK and Australia.

The United States had no prior knowledge of the Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, but now believes there is ongoing terrorism plotting in the country, Washington's ambassador to Colombo said.
“We had no prior knowledge of these attacks,” Ambassador Alaina Teplitz told reporters in Colombo. “We believe there are ongoing terrorist plots. Terrorists can strike without warning. Typical venues are large gatherings, public spaces.”


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 10 July 2020

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”