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Sri Lanka bans terror groups NTJ and JMI responsible for Easter attacks

The decision was taken by the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lanka bans terror groups NTJ and JMI responsible for Easter attacks
A Sri Lankan woman living near St Anthony's shrine runs for safety with her infant after police found explosive devices in a parked vehicle in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Reuters Photo)

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Saturday banned National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI), two terror groups responsible for Easter attacks. 

The decision was taken by the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, in terms of powers vested with him under emergency regulations, a statement issued by the President's media division said.

"All activities of the organisations as well as their property will be seized by the government," a statement said. It also added that "steps are been taken to ban other extremist organisations operating in Sri Lanka under Emergency Regulations."

The Easter Day bomb blasts (April 21) at three Sri Lankan churches and four hotels killed at least 253 people and wounded more than 500. 

Earlier this week, the Islamic State claimed the responsibility of the attack. However, the Lankan government held NTJ responsible for it. 

The police have so far arrested over 70 people in connection with the case. 

Meanwhile, India has issued an advisory for its citizens travelling to Sri Lanka. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday said that Indians are advised to avoid any "non-essential travel."