Colombo: Sri Lankan police on Friday arrested five suspects, allegedly having links with local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) and its leader Zahran Cassim, the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday bombings. The five suspects were arrested in Horowpathana area on the day when the Parliament passed the state of emergency with 22 lawmakers voting for it and eight Tamil National Alliance members voting against it, the Daily Mirror reported. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday extended by a month the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 260 people. The emergency law gives police and the military extensive powers to arrest, detain and interrogate suspects without court orders. The five arrested on Friday include a development officer attached to the Horowpathana Divisional Secretariat, a teacher of a government school in Horowpathana, two teachers of an Arab school in Kiwulekada and a resident of Kebithigollewa, the daily said. According to the police, the suspects had delivered extremist sermons upon the invitation of suicide bomber Zahran in the Horowpathana, Kebithigollewa and Trincomalee areas. Investigations have shown that the arrested suspects were closely associated with another suspect who has been arrested overseas. Police said investigations revealed that the five suspects had received funds from the NTJ via one of the main suspects, in the Easter Sunday attacks, who is abroad.
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