Sri Lanka raises curfew after bomb attacks kill 290, hurt 500

Sri Lanka raises curfew after bomb attacks kill 290, hurt 500
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The government lifted a curfew in Sri Lanka on Monday, the day after 290 people were killed and also about 500 wounded by a string of bombings that tore via churches and high-class hotels on Easter Sunday.

There was now no claim of responsibility for the attacks on two churches and four resorts in and around Colombo, the prime city of predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka, along with a third church on the country’s northeast coast.

A authorities source said President Maithripala Sirisena, who was overseas when the attacks happened, has called a meeting of the National Security Council ahead of time Monday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe could attend the meeting, the source declared.

There were fears the assaults could spark a renewal of community violence, with law enforcement reporting late on Sunday there had been a petrol bomb strike on a mosque in the northwest and also arson attacks on two stores owned by Muslims in the west.

Sri Lanka has been at war for decades with Tamil separatists but extremist violence has been on the wane while the civil war ended 10 years back.

The South Asian nation of regarding 22 million people has Christian, Muslim and also Hindu populations between about eight and 12 percent.

The island-wide curfew made by the government was lifted in early stages Monday, although there was uncharacteristically thin heavy traffic in the normally bustling capital.

Soldiers armed with automated weapons stood to protect outside major resorts and the World Trade Centre in the business area, where the four resorts were targeted on Easter Sunday, based on a Reuters witness.

Scores of individuals who were stranded overnight at the main airport terminal began making their way home as limitations were lifted.

The government also clogged access to social media and also messaging sites, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, making information hard to get.

Wickremesinghe recognized on Sunday that the government had some prior details about possible attacks on churches involving a little-known Islamist group, but declared ministers had not been told.

Sri Lankans accounted for the mass of the 290 people killed and 500 wounded, although authorities officials said 32 foreigners were also killed. These integrated people from British, US, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nations around the world.

A British mother and son eating breakfast at the luxurious Shangri-La hotel were amongst those killed, Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper reported.

One Australian survivor, found only as Sam, told Australia’s 3AW radio the resort was a scene of “absolute carnage”.

He declared he and a travel partner were additionally having breakfast at the Shangri-La when two blasts went off. He declared he had seen two men wearing backpacks just a few seconds before the blasts.

“There were people screaming and also dead bodies all around,” he declared. “Kids crying, kids on the ground, I don’t know when they were dead or not, just crazy .”

There are equivalent scenes of carnage at two churches in or close to Colombo, and a third church in the northeast area of Batticaloa, where worshippers had gathered for Easter Sunday services. Pictures from the scene were evident bodies on the ground and blood-spattered pews and statues.

Dozens were killed from one of the blasts at the Gothic-style St Sebastian church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo. Police declared they suspected that blast was a suicide strike.

Three police officers were additionally killed when security forces raided a home in Colombo many hours after the attacks. Police recorded an explosion at the home.


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