Sri Lanka Blast: 290 were killed and hundreds injured in 8 bomb blasts in Sri Lanka.
A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on Sunday, killing 290 people, including dozens of foreigners. The apparently coordinated attacks were the deadliest to hit the country in the decade since the end of a bloody civil war that killed up to 100,000 people and evoked painful memories for many Sri Lankans. They also marked a devastating escalation of violence against the country's Christian minority that has been targeted in the past, but never to such brutal effect. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the government said eight people had been arrested and investigators would look into whether the attackers had "overseas links". Sri Lanka also imposed a nationwide curfew and curbed social media access to prevent "wrong information" from spreading in the country of 21 million people. The powerful blasts -- six in quick succession and then two more hours later -- injured hundreds. At least two of them involved suicide bombers, including one who lined up at a hotel breakfast buffet before unleashing carnage.
Here are the updates a day after deadly Sri Lanka bomb blasts:
Documents seen by AFP show Sri Lanka's police chief issued a warning on April 11, saying that a "foreign intelligence agency" had reported NTJ was planning attacks on churches and the Indian high commission.
Sri Lanka Narrows Down On Islamist Group After Blasts, Declares Emergency
"As a government, we apologize to families and other institutions. The problem is that even when we met the Prime Minister at the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister was also in the dark," he said.
Interpol sends team to investigate Sri Lanka attacks
Interpol is deploying a team of investigators, including experts in disaster victim identification, to Sri Lanka to help local authorities in the aftermath of deadly suicide bomb blasts. "If required, additional expertise in digital forensics, biometrics, as well as photo and video analysis will also be added to the team on the ground," it added.
Sri Lanka announces compensation for bomb blast victimsThe Sri Lankan government today announced that it will compensate the victims of the ghastly bomb blasts that hit churches and luxury hotels. Government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said that the each victim in the attacks will be paid 1 million Sri Lankan rupees ($5,722), while about 100,000 Sri Lankan rupees ($572) would be given for the costs of the funeral processions, The Sunday Times reported. Sri Lanka Blames Local Islamist Group Behind Easter Bomb Blasts
Sri Lanka said Monday it believed a local Islamist extremist group was behind deadly suicide bomb blasts that killed nearly 300 people. Not much is known about the NTJ, but documents seen by AFP show Sri Lanka's police chief issued a warning on April 11, saying a "foreign intelligence agency" had reported the group was planning attacks on churches and the Indian high commission.
Explosion In Van Near Colombo Church When Officials Were Defusing Bomb"The van exploded when the bomb defusing unit of the STF (Special Task Force) and air force tried to difuse the bomb," the witness said.
The explosion happened around 50 metres from the St Anthony's Shrine, one of three churches targeted in a string of suicide bombs on Sunday that killed nearly 300 people.
The US and Canada have issued travel advisories to their citizens seeking to visit Sri Lanka, citing threats of terrorism.
According to advisories, travellers should exercise a high degree of caution in Sri Lanka due the current security situation.
The US Embassy said terrorists may attack with little or no warning targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports and other public areas.
The Indian Coast Guard is on high alert along the maritime boundary with Sri Lanka, news agency ANI quoted sources. Ships and maritime surveillance aircraft Dornier have been deployed on the maritime border to prevent any attempts by suicide bombing perpetrators to escape from Sri Lanka.
"International Network" Involved In Sri Lanka Bombings: Cabinet Spokesman:
The Sri Lankan government believes a local Islamist extremist group called the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) was behind the deadly suicide bomb attacks that killed nearly 300 people, government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said today. The Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka were carried out with the help of an international network, Rajitha Senaratne said. "We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country," Rajitha Senaratne said. "There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded."