International Desk: Sri Lanka police had alerted the nation about ten days before Sunday's serial blasts that terrorists would target prominent churches across the island nation. Security had also been increased shortly after the alert.
The police were also alerted about a suspected suicide bomber in Colombo. Foreign intelligence agencies had warned Sri Lanka about suspected "jammat" activity.
"A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama'ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo," said the alert.
The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that came to prominence only last year when the outfit was linked to several Buddhist statues being vandalised.
Six serial blasts rocked Sri Lanka early on Sunday morning. The explosions hit three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo and other parts of the country, killing 185 people.
At least 185 people have died so far while over 400 others have been injured in the blasts early on Easter Sunday morning, local media reported.
According to police, the dead include 35 foreigners. It is not yet known if any Indian was hurt or killed in the attack.
Although no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, local media reports suggest suicide bombers could be behind the ghastly attack on Sri Lanka.
Reports suggest, Sri Lankan police had sounded a nationwide alert 10 days before the blasts on Sunday about suicide bombers planning attacks on churches.
At the St. Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.
Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province. _Agencies
risingbd/Dhaka/April 21, 2019/AKA