Sri Lankan authorities have reportedly found the bodies of 15 people following an intense firefight between security forces and militants connected with the Easter bombings on Friday evening.
It comes as the island nation is in lockdown as authorities attempt to locate the perpetrators of the large scale explosions that tore through churches and hotels, killing residents and tourists alike.
Among the victims were the three children of ASOS CEO Anders Holch Povlsen, who has this week spoken for the first time about his 'incomprehensible' loss.
SAFE HOUSE TIP OFF
Sri Lankan security forces were tipped off to a safe house which allegedly held militants, on the coastal city of Sainthamaruthu, 321km from the capital Colombo.
Local media are reporting that as specialist teams raided the property on Friday evening, the militant group opened fire and a gunfight broke out.
Soon after the fighting commenced, three bombs were detonated, killing six men, three women and six children.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told reporters that some of the dead were "likely militant suicide bombers" who sacrificed themselves for their cause.
Several people were injured in the attack, including a woman and a child, who were found in a serious condition.
Four of the bodies are believed to be militants but Mr Gunasekara said investigations were continuing to identify the remaining bodies. One civilian died in the crossfire.
During the raid, police located uniforms emblazoned with the death cult's black flag, 150 dynamite sticks, batteries, huge amounts of ball bearings and a drone were also uncovered.
Authorities surmised these were being stored to make suicide bombs by the militants.
ASOS CEO SPEAKS
Denmark's wealthiest man, Anders Holch Povlsen, spoke publicly about the death of his three children in the bombings, saying the loss is "completely incomprehensible".
The CEO of ASOS was injured during the bombing, while holidaying in Sri Lanka with his wife, Anne Storm-Pedersen, and their four children, Alma, Astrid, Agnes and Alfred.
Mr Povlsen was hospitalised with minor injuries, but three of the couple's children, Alma, Agnes and Alfred, were tragically killed in the blast — Astrid survived the bombing.
A text message, sent by Mr Povlsen, was read out by Priest Arne Holst-Larsen to a gathering of 700 people in the town of Brande, in west Denmark, on Thursday.
According to local outlet Herning Folkeblad, the crowd gathered for a memorial service, held in honour of the three Povlsen children.
"The loss of our beloved children Alma, Agnes and Alfred is completely incomprehensible," Mr Povlsen wrote.
"With the many lovely people we have around us, close friends, talented colleagues and our loving family, we will come together through it."
As the crowd clutched flaming torches and stood in silence, the priest continued.
"We greatly appreciate the humanity that is also shown in Brande tonight," Mr Povlsen wrote.
"Not only to our families and children, but to all the victims of the cruel acts in Sri Lanka."
A photograph of the three children in front of a pool surrounded by palm trees was posted on social media three days before the attacks.
It is a tragic reminder of how fragile life can be.
CITY IN LOCKDOWN
Sri Lanka is currently in lockdown after the East Sunday bombings that targeted churches and hotels and claimed the lives of at least 250 people.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, with the government responding by imposing a strict curfew across the city and patrolling the streets.
Since Easter, authorities have also instructed told Muslims to pray at home, rather than attend communal Friday prayers, which is one of the most important public rituals in the Islamic faith.
President Maithripala Sirisena issued a statement informing the Sri Lankan people that his security forces will go door-to-door, searching for terrorists.
"Every household in the country will be checked," he said.
"The lists of permanent residents of every house will be established to ensure no unknown persons could live anywhere."