Sri Lanka investigates Easter bombings

11:05 p.m. ET, April 23, 2019

BREAKING: Death toll rises to 359

Sri Lankan police tell CNN the death toll has jumped to 359, up from a previous count of 321 people.

10:24 p.m. ET, April 23, 2019

CNN exclusive: ISIS suspect gave advance warning of Sri Lanka bombings, Indian official says

A still from the video released by the Amaq news agency, claiming to show the Sri Lanka bombers
A still from the video released by the Amaq news agency, claiming to show the Sri Lanka bombers ISIS

Early warnings from India's intelligence services to Sri Lankan officials ahead of the Easter Sunday bombings were based on information gleaned from an ISIS suspect, CNN has learned.

Delhi passed on unusually specific intelligence in the weeks and days leading up to the attacks, Sri Lankan officials have said, and at least some of it was gleaned from material obtained during interrogations of an ISIS suspect arrested in India, an Indian official told CNN.

The suspect gave investigators the name of a man he trained in Sri Lanka, who is associated with a local extremist group implicated in the bombings, the source said. The man, Zahran Hashim, was identified in a video of the purported attackers released Tuesday by ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday killings.

In a statement published by the ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq, the group said the attackers were "fighters of the Islamic State."

The involvement of a foreign organization would explain how a previously marginal domestic extremist group blamed for the attacks, National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ), could have pulled off one of the worst terrorist atrocities since 9/11.

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10:32 p.m. ET, April 23, 2019

Sri Lanka to restructure security divisions in wake of attack

Sri Lankan security personnel on high alert on the evening of April 23 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan security personnel on high alert on the evening of April 23 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Atul Loke/Getty Images

Changes in top positions in Sri Lanka’s security divisions will be made within 24 hours, President Maithripala Sirisena said Tuesday in a video message to the nation. 

“I expect to conduct a complete restructuring of security divisions,” including the army and police, in the coming week, he said.

“Mainly within the next 24 hours I expect to make changes in top positions of security divisions,” Sirisena added.