The Sri Lankan Army has said that some of the suicide bombers responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks last month had visited Kashmir and Kerala for “some sorts of training” or to make links with other organisations. This is the first time that a top official has confirmed that the suspects in the attacks had visited India, according to PTI.

In an interview to the BBC, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said everybody responsible for national security and intelligence was to be blamed for the attacks, including the political hierarchies.

“They [The suspects] have gone to India, they’ve gone to Kashmir, Bangalore, they’ve travelled to Kerala state,” Senanayake said. “Those are the information available with us.”

A group of suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 253 people. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Two other local Islamist groups – the National Thowheed Jamath and the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim – are suspected to have links to the blasts. They have now been banned.

When asked why Sri Lanka was targeted, Senanayake said: “Too much of freedom, too much of peace for the last 10 years. People forget what happened for 30 years. People are enjoying peace and they neglected security.”

On Saturday however, unidentified officials of Indian central security agencies in Srinagar told PTI that there was no record to suggest that any suicide bombers who carried out the attacks had visited Kashmir. One official said immigration records were re-visited after the terrorist attacks and none of the bombers had visited Kashmir.