There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, but I don’t think we need to look among the Buddhists to find the bomber.
Sri Lanka: Death toll in coordinated jihad suicide bombings at churches on Easter and hotels now 185
Two of the six attacks that rocked Sri Lanka this morning are reportedly to be have been carried out by suicide bombers. The attack at Shangri La hotel was carried out by suicide bomber Zahran Hashim, while Abu Mohammad has been identified as the attacker at the Batticalao church….
At least 138 dead, hundreds injured as explosions rock churches, hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.
COLOMBO – Multiple explosions rocked three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka during Easter Sunday Mass, leaving at least 138 dead, in the worst violence since the civil war ended a decade ago.
The blasts took place at churches in the capital city Colombo and neighboring towns and hotels, including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand. At least 160 people were injured and were undergoing treatment, an employee at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka said by phone.
Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, according to a security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with reporters.
It was the worst violence in Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war a decade ago. The magnitude of the bloodshed recalled the random bombings perpetrated by the separatist Tamil Tigers that targeted a bank, a shopping mall, a Buddhist temple and hotels popular with tourists.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts.
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on Sunday after multiple explosions rocked three churches and three luxury hotels in the capital and neighboring towns. | AFP-JIJI
BREAKING! Terrorist Attack On Christians!
Serial Terrorist blasts rock Sri Lanka, at least 80 hurt in SIX Attacks on Churches and Hotels!
The Churches were targeted during Easter Mass!
Stay ALERT & VIGILANT Christians – Media will not warn you of the threats you are facing! pic.twitter.com/dIpaysofuT
— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) April 21, 2019
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his government is taking immediate steps to contain the situation. An emergency security council meeting had been called to review the attacks that seem to be coordinated, Harsha de Silva, minister of economic reform and public distribution, said by phone.
“Rescue operations underway,” de Silva wrote on Twitter. “Many casualties including foreigners. Horrible scenes.”
St. Anthony’s Shrine and the three hotels where the blasts took place are in Colombo and are frequented by foreign tourists. A National Hospital spokesman, Dr. Samindi Samarakoon, said they received 47 dead, including nine foreigners, and were treating more than 200 wounded.
The Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted in the blast, with the ceiling and windows blown out. Loose wires hung and tables were overturned in the blackened space.
A police magistrate was at the hotel to inspect the bodies recovered from the restaurant. From outside the police cordon, several bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.
Alex Agieleson, who was near the shrine, said buildings shook with the blast, and that a number of injured people were carried away in ambulances.
Other blasts were reported at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa. St. Sebastian’s appealed for help on its Facebook page.
The explosion ripped off the roof and knocked out doors and windows at St. Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away from blood-stained pews, TV footage showed.
Sri Lankan security officials said they were investigating. Police immediately sealed off the areas.
Sri Lankan security forces in 2009 defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who had fought to create an independent homeland for the country’s ethnic minority Tamils. The U.N. initially estimated the death toll from 26 years of fighting to be about 100,000 but a U.N. experts’ panel later said some 45,000 ethnic Tamils may have been killed in the last months of the fighting alone.
Government troops and the Tamil Tigers were both accused of grave human rights violations, which prompted local and international calls for investigations.