Three churches and four hotels were attacked in a series of blasts in Sri Lanka, leaving more than 200 dead and 500 injured so far.
Sri Lanka was hit by multiple explosions during the Easter mass progress on Sunday. The death toll has reached to 207 and over 500 people have been reported to be injured so far. A 12-hours curfew has been imposed across the nation.
A series of eight blasts had struck the heart of the country’s minority Christian community. The explosions had left four high-end hotels and three churches ripped into pieces. Worshippers were targeted at the Kochikade, St Sebastian, and Batticaloa churches. Hotel Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury hotel and suburb of Orugodawatta and Dehiwala were also bombed to smithereens.
The attack has also claimed lives of three police officers and 35 foreigners. The government has ordered a temporary ban on social media. Also, the schools have been asked to remain closed till April 23.
According to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry, all the eight blasts were suicide bombings. The ministry has confirmed that seven individuals have been arrested in connection with the serial explosions. However, the motive for the attacks remains unclear and no individual or group has claimed responsibility yet.
The police chief of Sri Lanka, Pujuth Jayasundara had issued an intelligence alert to top officers on April 11. He had warned that a radical Muslim group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), was planning to carry out the suicide attacks. Last year in Sri Lanka, NTJ was linked to the vandalization of Buddhist statues.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she was in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, keeping a close watch on the situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Pope Francis have condemned the terror attacks.