Apr 24, 2021 - World

Sri Lanka arrests Muslim leader over alleged connections to 2019 bombings

Rishad Bathiudeen speaking in 2014.

Rishad Bathiudeen speaking in 2014. Photo: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images

Sri Lankan police on Saturday arrested prominent Muslim leader Rishad Bathiudeen over alleged connections to the suicide bombers who attacked churches and hotels on Easter Sunday 2019, Al Jazeera reports.

Why it matters: The bombings, which ISIS claimed responsibility for, killed more than 290 people and injured 500 others. Around 200 people have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the attack, but no one has officially been charged.

What they're saying: Police spokesperson Ajith Rohana said detectives took Bathiudeen, a member of parliament, and his brother into custody during raids on their homes in Colombo.

  • Rohana said their arrests were based on "circumstantial and scientific evidence that they had connections with the suicide bombers who carried out the attacks," according to Al Jazeera.

The big picture: The high-profile arrests come amid growing criticism against Sri Lanka's government for a lack of progress in the investigation.

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