Easter Bombings Leave Hundreds Of Christians In Mourning

Lalitha weeps on the coffin with the remains of 12-year old niece, Sneha Savindi, who was a victim of the Easter Sunday bombing at St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, April 22, 2019.

National Thowheed Jamath has been named as the group responsible for the atrocity, which saw seven suicide bombers destroy churches and hotels.

"What these bombings potentially do is take it from inertia and political infighting and rudderlessness to a real fear of instability and a sense of a return to the bad old days", said Alan Keenan, a senior Sri Lanka analyst with the International Crisis Group based in London. At least four USA citizens are among the dead, and "several" Americans were seriously injured, the State Department said Monday.

While most victims were Sir Lankan, at least 37 foreigners were killed, according to police. He added that a foreign network was probably involved. "There was an global network without which these attacks could not have succeeded".

Sri Lankan-Canadians were gathering Monday to mourn those killed in a massive terrorist attack in their homeland as the Canadian government stepped up cautions for anyone considering visiting the country as it grapples with the fallout from the widespread violence. Intelligence agencies have reported that "international organizations" were behind these "acts of local terrorists", his office said in a statement.

The powers will allow police and the military officers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.

Christians are a small minority in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan security officials said they were investigating.

Also upsetting, he said, was the feeling that he and others here couldn't do anything to help.

Mr Senaratne said that authorities believed the bombers had worldwide support.

The Queen has offered her condolences to Sri Lanka's president, saying her thoughts and prayers were with all Sri Lankans. "A person known as Milhan, maintains a social media account under the name Mohammed Milhan and interacts with the social media accounts of Zaharan".

Senaratne, who was addressing the media along with other Ministers, called the well-planned attacks a "colossal intelligence failure" and stated that despite receiving prior information, the attacks could not be prevented, media reports said.

Officials said 24 suspects have been taken into custody for questioning, news agencies reported.

Authorities said numerous attacks, believed to be carried out by suicide bombers with a local Islamic group, targeted worshippers gathered to celebrate Easter.

Catholics, split between the Sinhalese and Tamils, make up 6.5 percent of Sri Lanka's population, according to the nation's 2012 census. The Tamil Tigers were among the first groups to deploy suicide bombers. The conflict, marked by the use of child soldiers and human-rights violations on both sides, killed more than 100,000 people before former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa's government won a decisive victory in 2009. Trump pledged USA support in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against global terrorism, a pool report said.

  • Jon Douglas