At least fifteen people were confirmed dead, which included six children, in a battle between Sri Lankan security forces and suicide bombers.
Three men set off explosives that killed themselves, three women and six children inside what was believed to be a jihadist hideout near the eastern town of Kalmunai.
“Three other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the house,” police said in a statement. They were shot dead by security forces, police officials added.
According to reports from the military, security forces tried to storm the house late Friday and a one-hour long gun battle ensued before the explosions.
Police and troops have stepped up searches after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels, which killed least 253 people and injured 500.
Kalmunai is in the same region as the home town of the jihadist Zahran Hashim who founded the group accused of staging the attacks.
Police and officials said a series of tip offs after the arrest of Hashim’s driver, Mohamed Sharif Adam, in Hashim’s home town of Kathankudy led them to the safe house.