The pregnant wife of one of the men believed to be behind the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks has detonated a suicide vest during a police raid on her house, killing herself, her two children, and three police officers.

Sri Lanka’s Deputy Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told the media that the explosion happened as police raided the home in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.

Authorities believe the men behind the coordinated bombings on Sri Lankan churches and hotels were two brothers, sons of a wealthy spice merchant. One of them, Inshaf Ibrahim, the owner of a coppery factory, is believed to have orchestrated the bombings.

He’s said to have been involved in the suicide bombing of the Shangri-La hotel.

The brothers lived together in a wealthy suburb of Colombo, in a house that’s being described by reports as “lavish” and “ostentatious”. When the house was raided by police, the woman in question, who is the wife of one of the Ibrahim brothers, detonated her suicide vest.

The bombing attacks killed more than 350 people and injured 500 on Easter Sunday. According to local authorities, many of the suicide bombers were educated and from wealthy families. Although all were Sri Lankan, several had studied overseas, including one man who’d been educated in Australia.

Wijewardene said:

That’s a worrying factor in this because some of them have studied in various other countries. They hold degrees. We believe one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and later on did his postgraduate in Australia before coming back to Sri Lanka.

Local reports suggest police continue to carry out controlled detonations of suspicious items found around the city.

Source: ABC
Image: Getty Images / Chamila Karunarathne