Sri Lanka: Seven suspects arrested; 207 dead after 8 blasts

Relatives of a blast victim grieve outside a morgue in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. More than hundred were killed and hundreds more hospitalized with injuries from eight blasts that rocked churches and hotels in and just outside of Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday, officials said, the worst violence to hit the South Asian country since its civil war ended a decade ago. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Seven suspects have been arrested following a series of eight blasts in Sri Lanka, the country’s defence minister said, reported AP. According to government sources, at least 190 people were killed in these blasts.

But the scale of Sunday’s bloodshed recalled the worst days of the war, when Tigers and other rebels set off explosions at Sri Lanka’s Central Bank in downtown Colombo, at a busy shopping mall, an important Buddhist temple and tourist hotels.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s blasts.

SNAPSHOT

  • 24 suspects arrested in connection with the blasts
  • No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attacks
  • Health Minister and the govt spokesperson, Rajitha Senaratne, said that all suicide bombers involved in the blasts are believed to be Sri Lankan nationals
  • The churches targeted include St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and another church in Batticaloa
  • The hotels targeted include the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury

View related coverage on Sri Lanka’s bombings click here

Attack is a terrorist incident says Sri Lanka Defense Minister

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene described the attacks as a terrorist incident, and blamed religious extremists. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the violence could trigger instability in the country and its economy.

Sri Lanka bombings latest
Sri Lankan elderly woman is helped near St. Anthony’s Shrine after a blast in Colombo on Sunday after the multiple explosions that rocket the city. (AP)

Since the end of the country’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel insurgency from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from ethnic Sinhala Buddhist majority Sri Lanka, there has been sporadic ethnic and religious violence.

The Sri Lankan government has imposed curfew for the whole island, which will take effect from 6 pm on Sunday to 6 am on Monday, 22 April.

While three high-end hotels and one church were earlier targeted in the capital Colombo, two other churches were attacked in Negombo and Batticaloa. At least 35 foreigners are said to be among those who died in the blasts for which no group has claimed responsibility so far.

  • At least 45 people have died in Colombo, 68 in Negombo and 27 in Batticaloa
  • A temporary social media ban has been imposed by the government, following the blasts
  • The churches targeted include St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and another church in Batticaloa
  • The hotels targeted include the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has tweeted saying, “I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation.” 

Perpetrators Must Be Brought to Justice: MEA

India on Sunday strongly condemned the serial blasts in Sri Lanka and called for concerted global action to deal with terrorism.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said India was standing together with the people and the government of Sri Lanka in this hour of grief.

“We strongly condemn the serial blasts on multiple locations in Sri Lanka today morning in which many people have been killed and injured.

The ministry said India has always opposed and rejected terrorism in all forms and manifestations and there can be no justification for any kind of terror.

“We call for perpetrators of such ghastly and heinous act and those who provide them support to be brought to justice expeditiously,” the ministry said.

India Will Do Whatever it Can to Help Sri Lanka: PM Modi

Addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh, PM Narendra Modi said that India stood with Sri Lanka and will do whatever it can to help the island nation.

Modi held a telephonic conversation with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena after serial blasts hit island nation, sources told PTI.


About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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