Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Resigns Amid Backlash Over Bombings

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Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Resigns Amid Backlash Over Bombings
He confirmed his resignation to Reuters Thursday, saying he was taking responsibility for the failures of the institutions he headed.
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Sri Lanka's defense secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, has stepped down from his position following the deadly terror attacks that happened Easter Sunday.

He confirmed his resignation to Reuters Thursday, saying he was taking responsibility for the failures of the institutions he headed.

He also said security agencies were in the process of responding to intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before Sunday's bombings. 

On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's president called on both the defense secretary and police chief to resign amid growing public outrage over the attacks.

Sri Lanka's deputy inspector general of police reportedly signed a letter earlier this month warning the country's security agencies that a local group was planning a suicide attack. But it's unclear what steps — if any — were taken to prevent it. Officials are currently looking into who knew what ahead of the blasts.

Authorities say multiple suicide bombers carried out the attacks, which left about 250 people dead. Officials initially said the death toll surpassed 350, but they revised that number Thursday, citing a calculation error.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombings on Tuesday. Officials have pointed the finger at two local Islamist militant groups for orchestrating the attacks, likely with support from outside the country.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN