Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary resigns

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The office of Sri Lanka’s president says the country’s defense secretary has resigned following a failure of security forces to stop the ISIS extremist group-claimed suicide bombings on Easter that killed over 350 people.

The office issued a statement Thursday saying that Hemasiri Fernando would continue to serve until his replacement has been appointed.


President Maithripala Sirisena had announced on television Tuesday that he planned to shake up the security forces.

On Wednesday, he asked for the resignations of both the defense secretary and the national police chief.

Government leaders have acknowledged that some intelligence units were aware of possible attacks weeks before the bombings Sunday that struck three churches and three luxury hotels.

Sirisena said he had been kept in the dark on intelligence about the planned attacks and vowed to “take stern action” against officials who failed to share it.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka tweets warning to avoid “places of worship” this weekend over possible extremist attacks, The Associated Press reported.

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