The pregnant wife of one of the terrorists who murdered hundreds of people in a series of attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday detonated a bomb in her home, killing herself and their three children when police arrived following the massacres, according to multiple international reports.
Three police officers were killed in the blast triggered by Fatima Ibrahim when they entered the luxury apartment.
Her husband, Ilhan Ahmed Ibrahim, 31, and his brother Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim, 33, have been identified as two of the eight suicide bombers responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks at the Cinnamon Grand and Shangri-La hotels in the Sri Lanka capital city of Colombo.
Both were the sons of wealthy spice trader Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim, who has now been arrested on suspicion of aiding the terrorists carry out Sunday’s attacks. His youngest son has also been detained for questioning. Another son, Ismail, is reportedly a fugitive.
The death toll in the deadly bombings was significantly revised by authorities on Thursday, from 359 to about 253. The national director-general for health services in the country cited the difficulty of identifying victims as a main reason for the revision, according to a report by The Guardian.
A woman previously named as a suspect has now been said to have been wrongly named, leaving the count at eight suicide bombers.
Police also said overnight Thursday the number of people held for questioning had risen to at least 76 suspects, including a Syrian national. Three churches and three hotels were blown up last Sunday in the string of bombing attacks, with other bombs exploding at the private home of one of the bombers and near Colombo’s zoo.
Sri Lank’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Associated Press that more bombers are still at large, and “may go out for a suicide attack.”
“This is another experience for us,” he said in the interview. Not that we are strangers to terrorism, but this is global terrorism, so we have to ensure that we root this out.”
Services have been suspended in the nation’s churches, and mosques have been advised by police not to hold Friday prayers due to the continuing risk to worshipers.
U.S. officials warned Americans in the country to avoid places of worship in the country this coming weekend, warning that terrorists may strike such targets again.
The FBI is providing assistance to Sri Lanka authorities in their investigation, according to a spokesperson for the agency.