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In this Friday, April 26, 2019, photo, Sri Lankan police officers show ISIS flag recovered from alleged hideout of militants, in Kalmunai, in Eastern Sri Lanka. Militants linked to Easter suicide bombings opened fire and set off explosives during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces on a house in the country’s east. (AP Photo)
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A Sri Lankan soldier cleans the face of a girl after she was found at the site of an explosion and a gun-battle in Kalmunai, eastern Sri Lanka, Saturday, April 27, 2019. Militants linked to Easter suicide bombings opened fire and set off explosives during a raid by Sri Lankan security forces on a house in the country’s east. (AP Photo/Achala Upendra)
AMPARA, Sri Lanka – The Islamic State group has claimed three of the militants killed in a shootout with police in eastern Sri Lanka.
In a statement published early Sunday by the extremists' Aamaq news agency, IS gave their noms du guerre as Abu Hammad, Abu Sufyan and Abu al-Qa'qa.
It says they opened fire with automatic weapons and "after exhausting their ammunition, detonated on them their explosive belts."
IS falsely claimed their militants killed 17 "disbelievers" in the attack. The militants often exaggerate their claims.
The claim carried a photograph of two men before an IS flag, one carrying a Chinese variant of the Kalashnikov rifle like the one found at the scene, another smiling.
Sri Lanka's military says the gunfight Friday night in Ampara District left 15 dead, including six children.