Six children have died after a shoot-out between police and a group of men at a 'suicide vest factory' in eastern Sri Lanka.
The bodies of 15 people, including the six youngsters, were discovered at the site of a fierce overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said on Saturday.
It comes six days after suicide bombers killed more than 250 people.
The shooting occurred in Sainthamarudu in Kalmunai, where a Special Task Force attempted to raid a house in which terrorist suspects were hiding.
The shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday evening south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four luxury hotels.
Six children died together with six men and three women whose bodies were recovered from an explosion in the house, a police spokesman said.
A police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15 dead.
It has been reported from local media the suspects blew themselves up, causing an explosion that soldiers went to investigate before being fired upon.
The location is believed to have been used to create suicide vests used in the Easter Sunday attacks.
Masses of bomb making equipment was found at the scene, according to News 1st.
It has been reported IS uniforms, curtains with an IS logo, 150 Gelignite sticks and 100,000 metal balls and a drone camera were found at the scene.
Military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said in a statement that as troops headed towards the safe house three explosions were triggered and gunfire began.
"Troops retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been stored," he said in a statement.
He said the militants were suspected members of the National Towheed Jama'at (NTJ), which has been blamed for last Sunday's attacks.
Police said on Friday they were trying to track down 140 people they believe have links with Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings.
Police have been conducting raids across the country to find more details about the perpetrators and their supporters.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday terror attacks that killed 253 hotel guests and Christian worshippers attending church services. Eight Brits were killed in the atrocity.
President Sirisena has said police are looking for 140 people believed to have links with the Islamic State group.
He also told reporters some Sri Lankan youths had been involved with Islamic State since 2013.
Muslims in Sri Lanka were urged to pray at home and not attend mosques or churches.
The U.S. embassy in Sri Lanka also urged its citizens to avoid places of worship over the coming weekend after authorities reported there could be more attacks targeting religious centres.
Nearly 10,000 soldiers were being deployed across the Indian Ocean island state to carry out searches and provide security for religious centres, the military said on Friday.
President Maithripala Sirisena confirmed Zahran Hashim, a radical preacher, was blown up at the Shangri-La hotel.
Hashim was accompanied by a second bomber identified as "Ilham", he said.
He has been named by police sources as Ilham Ibrahim, one of two wealthy, well-educated brothers in the gang.
A total of198 detonators weighing 5kg were also found in an abandoned bag by a canal.
There are 180 still in hospital the massacre, with the death toll lowered to 253 from 359 after mortuaries were overwhelmed by the scale of the tragedy.