Аnother Explosion Near the Largest City in Sri Lanka (Update)

World | April 22, 2019, Monday // 14:45| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Аnother Explosion Near the Largest City in Sri Lanka (Update) pixabay.com

The attacks were carried out by members of a domestic militant group called National Thowfeek Jamaath, a government official said, аccording to ABC news. 

All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but authorities suspect foreign links, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

Earlier, government forensic investigator Ariyananda Welianga said analysis had revealed the attackers were suicide bombers.

There were four attacks at 8:45am on Sunday morning (local time). A fifth occurred five minutes later before a sixth explosion at 9:05am.

Mr Welianga said two suicide bombers carried out an attack on the Shangri-La hotel.

One suicide bomber each also then attacked the Cinnamon Grand hotel, the Kingsbury hotel and St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, St Sebastian's church in Negombo and the Zion church in Batticaloa.

In the early afternoon there was a seventh blast at a hotel opposite the national zoo, and an eighth explosion near an overpass on the outskirts of Colombo at 2:15pm.

These two later blasts are still under investigation.

Suspects detonated explosives at a safe house near the overpass blast, killing three police officers.

Police have arrested 13 Sri Lankans in relation to the attacks.

The attacks come almost a decade after the end of a bloody civil war.

Two Catholic churches and one evangelical church were targeted in three separate cities.

St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, is a popular place of worship and tourist attraction.

More than 50 people were killed at St Sebastian's in Negombo, north of Colombo.

Three five-star hotels in Colombo that are frequented by foreigners were attacked on Sunday morning.

An explosion was detonated at about 1:45pm on Sunday at the New Tropical Inn opposite the national zoo in Dehiwala, south of Colombo.

An eyewitness on local TV said he saw some body parts including a severed head lying on the ground near the hotel.

The zoo has since been closed.

At 2:15pm another blast occurred at a house in Dematagoda, a suburb in Colombo, during a police raid. Three police were killed in the explosion.

Late on Sunday night police reported a petrol bomb attack had occurred at a mosque, while arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims were reported in different parts of the country.

Sunday's attacks are the worst violence in Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war a decade ago.

The Sri Lankan Defence Minister has described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

Sir Lankan authorities have confirmed they had prior information about the attacks on churches 10 days before the bombings.

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Tags: Sri Lanka, terrorist attack, update, extremists, violence, crime
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