Sri Lanka explosions - 137 killed as churches and hotels targeted

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-blasts-arrest/latest-sri-lanka-arrest-throws-spotlight-on-wahhabism-in-eastern-hotbed-idUSKCN1SI03G

Latest Sri Lanka arrest throws spotlight on Wahhabism in eastern hotbed

KATTANKUDY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lankan authorities have arrested a Saudi-educated scholar for what they claim are links with Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings, throwing a spotlight on the rising influence of Salafi-Wahhabi Islam on the island’s Muslims.

Mohamed Aliyar, 60, is the founder of the Centre for Islamic Guidance, which boasts a mosque, a religious school and a library in Zahran’s hometown of Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated city on Sri Lanka’s eastern shores.

“Information has been revealed that the suspect arrested had a close relationship with ... Zahran and had been operating financial transactions,” said a police statement late on Friday.

The statement said Aliyar was “involved” with training in the southern town of Hambantota for the group of suicide bombers who attacked hotels and churches on Easter, killing over 250 people.

A police spokesman declined to provide details on the accusations.
 
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