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Sri Lankan policeman patrol in a Muslim neighborhood before Friday prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, April 26, 2019. Across Colombo, there was a visible increase of security as authorities warned of another attack and pursued suspects that could have access to explosives. Authorities had told Muslims to pray at home rather than attend communal Friday prayers that are the most important religious service for the faithful. At one mosque in Colombo where prayers were still held, police armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles stood guard outside. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
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A Sri Lankan Army soldier stands guard in front St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, April 26, 2019. Priests have allowed journalists inside St. Anthony’s Church in Sri Lanka for the first time since it was targeted in a series of Islamic State-claimed suicide bombings that killed over 250 people. Broken glass littered the sanctuary’s damaged pews and blood stained the floor. Shoes left by panicked worshippers remained in the darkened church, and broken bottles of holy water lay on the floor. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The Latest on Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka (all times local):
Police say that 15 bodies including six children have been found after a raid in east Sri Lanka on militants linked to the Easter bombings.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara gave the figures early Saturday after a gunfight between soldiers and the suspected militants near Sammanthurai.
The gunbattle began Friday night after police tipped off soldiers to a suspected safe house, where authorities say the militants set off three explosions and opened fire. At least three others were wounded in the attack.
Gunasekara says some of the dead likely were militants who blew themselves up in suicide bombings.
Earlier, the military said at least one civilian had been killed in the attack.
Sri Lanka's military says soldiers are raiding an area in the country's east where a gunfight between troops and suspects linked to the Easter suicide bombings killed two militants and one civilian.
Maj. Gen. Aruna Jayasekara, the local military commander, said Saturday that at least three people were wounded in the gunbattle that saw at least three explosions.
Jayasekara says soldiers and police wanted to wait until daylight to carry out further raids given houses being built so close together.
Meanwhile, the military says security forces have recovered explosives, detonators, "suicide kits," military uniforms and Islamic State group flags during the raids.
The Easter suicide bombings, claimed by the Islamic State group, targeted churches and hotels and killed at least 250 people.