Dhaka: 4:16 PM, Sat, 20 Jul, 2019

Shock in Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday carnage kills scores

Mukul : risingbd.com
Publish on: 2019-04-22 8:50:29 AM     ||     Updated: 2019-04-22 3:34:55 PM

International Desk: Sri Lanka is in shock after more than 200 people were killed in a wave of bomb blasts that hit churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday.

An island-wide curfew was lifted Monday at 06:00 local time (01:30 GMT).

Late on Sunday Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said security services had been "aware of information" of a possible attacks.

Arrests have been made, but the government has not yet identified who carried out the attacks.

Several foreigners are among the dead and injured.

There are reports of social media networks being temporarily restricted to try and stop misinformation spreading. Popular messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook are said to be unavailable to many.

Late on Sunday, the air force said an improvised explosive device had been found and disposed of close to the country's main airport in the capital, Colombo.

"A PVC pipe which was six feet [1.8m] in length containing explosives in it was discovered," spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told local media.

The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45 (03:15 GMT) local time - with six blasts reported within a small space of time.

Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo's Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services and blasts also rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country's capital.

As police hunted those responsible, two further explosions were reported.
One blast hit near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo, and an eighth was reported near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid, killing three officers.

It remains unclear who was behind the attacks, but 13 arrests were made by police on Sunday.

The government has said they believe suicide bombs were used at some of the sites.

During a news conference on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed rumours that officials had had prior intelligence of forthcoming attacks.

"We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken. Neither I nor the Ministers were kept informed," he said.

"For now the priority is to apprehend the attackers," he added.

Source: Agencies

risingbd/April 22, 2019/Mukul