Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister said on Wednesday, 24 April, that over 60 people have been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday suicide bomb blasts which claimed the lives of at least 359 people.
He also added that the leader of local Islamist group that carried out attacks committed suicide at Shangri-La hotel.
As many as 10 Indians are among those dead in the bombings that struck three churches and three high-end hotels.
On Tuesday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the devastating blasts in the island nation and identified the seven suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks, through its Amaq news agency.
- Sri Lankan authorities have blamed a local extremist group, National Towheed Jamaar for the attack
- The churches targeted include St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and another church in Batticaloa
- The hotels targeted include the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury
Blasts Occurred Around 8:45 am
The blasts occurred around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress, PTI cited police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera as saying.
The Colombo National Hospital said at least 80 people have been admitted with injuries.
It was not immediately clear if the blasts had caused casualties.
"A bomb attack to our church, please come and help," read a Facebook post from St Sebasitian's Church at Katuwapitiutya, in the Western coastal town of Negombo.
'Keeping a Close Watch on the Situation': Sushma Swaraj
Colombo - I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation. @IndiainSL— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
Which Churches, Hotels Were Targeted?
According to the police, three churches – St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa – were targeted.
Three explosions were also reported from the five-star hotels, the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury.
Death Toll Rises to 42
The death toll in the blasts that targeted three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka has risen to 42, reported AFP, quoting the police.
Indian High Commission Tweets Out Helpline Numbers
The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has tweeted out numbers for Indian citizens who might need assistance in the aftermath of the explosions.
Explosions have been reported in Colombo and Batticaloa today. We are closely monitoring the situation. Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call the following numbers : +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 21, 2019
In addition to the numbers given below, Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may also call the following numbers +94777902082 +94772234176— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 21, 2019
Photos: Blasts Rock Sri Lankan Churches, Hospitals
'All Forms of Violence Unacceptable, Easter a Festival of Peace': Mamata Banerjee
Saddened and shocked at the disturbing news coming in from Sri Lanka. All forms of violence are unacceptable. Easter is a Festival of Peace. My thoughts and prayers with the grieving families— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 21, 2019
Death Toll Rises to 52
While at least 42 people have been killed in Colombo, another 10 have died in Batticaloa, reported AFP.
Congress Offers Condolences to Victims of the Blasts
The official Congress Twitter handle as well as several leaders including Shashi Tharoor and Urmila Matondkar tweeted their condolences for the victims of the blasts.
We are deeply saddened by the terrible attacks on several churches in #SriLanka on the holy day of Easter. We stand with the people in their time of grief & pray for their recovery.— Congress (@INCIndia) April 21, 2019
Shocked & saddened by news of church & hotel bombings in SriLanka. Intolerance, bigotry & terrorism sadly know no borders or limits. Profound condolences to the families & my thoughts and prayers for that beautiful & tortured land. https://t.co/eU1gKjuOnp— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 21, 2019
Deeply saddened and shocked to hear about the church bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday..my prayers for those who lost their lives and condolences to their families.. we condemn the terror attack..— Urmila Matondkar (@OfficialUrmila) April 21, 2019
Sri Lankan Police Chief Had Warned of Possible Suicide Attacks: Document
The Sri Lankan police chief had warned of possible suicide attacks before the Sunday blasts took place, AFP reported, citing a document.
Death Toll Rises to 129; Nine Foreigners Among Those Dead
The death toll in the Sri Lanka blasts targeting churches and hotels has risen to 129, AFP quoted hospital sources as saying. At least nine foreigners are among those who have died, a police official reportedly said.
President Sirisena Expresses 'Shock', Emergency Meeting Called
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has appealed for calm.
"“I have been shocked by this totally unexpected incident. The security forces have been asked to take all action necessary.”" - Maithripala Sirisena
The Sri Lankan government has summoned an emergency meeting. All necessary emergency steps have been taken by the government, a minister said, adding that an official statement will be issued soon.
'All Measures Taken to Maintain Peace, Security Tightened': Sri Lankan Minister
Harsh de Silva, the Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, took to Twitter to share the steps being taken by the authorities.
PM @RW_UNP met w ministers n senior military personnel; all measures taken to maintain peace. Security tightened. Please stay calm. Please act responsibly. Please NO politics. We must all act together as #SriLanka citizens. My condolences to all families who lost loved ones. pic.twitter.com/j6e3qEPgNt— Harsha de Silva (@HarshadeSilvaMP) April 21, 2019
Horrible scenes. I saw many body parts strewn all over. Emergency crews are at all locations in full force. We, at 1990 also have close to 20 units at the various locations. We took multiple casualties to hospital. Hopefully saved many lives.— Harsha de Silva (@HarshadeSilvaMP) April 21, 2019
‘No Place for Such Barbarism in Our Region’: PM Modi Condemns Blasts in Sri Lanka
Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
'Call Upon All Sri Lankans to Remain United and Strong': Sri Lankan PM
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took to Twitter to “strongly condemn” the blasts targeting churches and hotels, as he called upon the citizens to “remain united and strong”.
“The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation,” he wrote.
I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) April 21, 2019
Death Toll Rises to 156, 35 Foreigners Among Those Killed
The death toll in the Sri Lanka blasts has risen to 156, with 35 foreigners among those who have been killed, AFP quoted the police as saying.
Seventh Explosion Near Colombo
A fresh explosion, the seventh, has been reported in Dehiwala near Colombo.
According to a police spokesperson cited by AFP, a new blast in the Sri Lankan capital has left two people dead.
Eighth Blast Hits Sri Lankan Capital: AFP
Eighth blast hits Sri Lankan capital, AFP News reported, quoting police.
Sri Lankan Govt Shuts Down Access to Major Social Media & Messaging Services
The Sri Lankan government said that it has shut down access to major social media and messaging services.
Curfew Imposed in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan government has imposed curfew for the whole island, which will take effect from 6 pm on Sunday to 6 am on Monday, 22 April, reported News 18.
India Will Do Whatever it Can to Help Sri Lanka: PM Modi
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh, PM Narendra Modi said that India stood with Sri Lanka and will do whatever it can to help the island nation.
#WATCH: PM Narendra Modi in Chittorgarh,Rajasthan, says, "India stands with the citizens of Sri Lanka, in such a crisis India will do whatever it can to help Sri Lanka." #SriLankaBlasts pic.twitter.com/T2eHlxFpGK— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
Modi held a telephonic conversation with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena after serial blasts hit island nation, sources told PTI.
Eighth Blast a Suicide Bomb, Say Police
Sri Lankan Police say eighth Sri Lanka blast was a suicide bomb, reported AFP. At least three people were killed in the attack.
Perpetrators Must Be Brought to Justice: MEA
India on Sunday strongly condemned the serial blasts in Sri Lanka and called for concerted global action to deal with terrorism.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said India was standing together with the people and the government of Sri Lanka in this hour of grief.
"We strongly condemn the serial blasts on multiple locations in Sri Lanka today morning in which many people have been killed and injured.
The ministry said India has always opposed and rejected terrorism in all forms and manifestations and there can be no justification for any kind of terror.
"We call for perpetrators of such ghastly and heinous act and those who provide them support to be brought to justice expeditiously," the ministry said.
Seven Suspects Arrested, Says SL Defence Minister
Seven suspects have been arrested following a series of blasts in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s defence minister said, reported AP.
Death Toll Rises to 207
At least 207 people were killed and at least 450 in the series of blasts, reported Reuters.
Three Indians Killed in Sri Lanka Blasts
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj confirmed that three Indian nationals were among the 207 killed, in the series of blasts in Sri Lanka.
Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. We are ascertaining further details. /3— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
She added that India was ready to provide all humanitarian assistance, including dispatching medical teams.
I conveyed to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka that India is ready to provide all humanitarian assistance. In case required, we are ready to despatch our medical teams as well.— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
11 Foreign Nationals Killed in Sri Lanka Blast
At least 11 foreign nationals were among the 207 killed in the series of blasts that took place in Sri Lanka.
Additionally, nine foreigners are missing and 25 unidentified bodies are believed to be of foreigners.
SriLankan Airlines Issues Notice For Passengers Travelling During Curfew
SriLankan Airlines issues notice for passengers travelling during curfew imposed till 6 AM, Monday, 22 April.
London Says Britons Among Those Killed in Sri Lanka Attacks
Britain's Foreign Office is confirming that British nationals died in the Sri Lanka attacks but is not specifying the number, which Sri Lankan officials say was five.
A Foreign Office statement released Sunday evening in London said British nationals were among those killed.
"We can confirm that British nationals were among those killed in today's horrific attacks in Sri Lanka," a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman told AFP.
"Our staff are supporting the relatives of the victims and are continuing to work with the relevant authorities to obtain further information.
"We extend our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and all those affected by this senseless tragedy." The spokeswoman did not give a figure for the Britons killed, but a government ministry source said London was aware of at least five British fatalities.
Govt Was Aware of Possible Attack, Failed to Prevent: Sri Lanka PM
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his “government was aware of the information regarding a possible attack but adequate precautions were not taken to prevent it", reported AFP.
He also said that as per the information he has received, “the perpetrators were locals”.
UN Condemns Attack in Sri Lanka, Stands in Solidarity
Condemning the blasts that rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday, the United Nations, in its press release, said, “We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they bring to justice the perpetrators of these despicable and senseless acts.”
Eiffel Tower Goes Dark As a Tribute to Lives Lost in Sri Lanka
The Eiffel Tower in Paris went dark at midnight, as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the serial bombings in Sri Lanka on 21 April.
#WATCH France: The Eiffel Tower in Paris went dark at the midnight, as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the serial bombings in Sri Lanka on 21st April. More than 200 people died & 450 were injured in the bombings that took place in churches & hotels of the country,y'day pic.twitter.com/w2ScUB7ua0— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2019
Improvised Bomb Made Safe Near Colombo Airport
An improvised bomb was made safe near Colombo airport on Monday, 22 April, reported AFP.
Curfew Lifted in Sri Lanka
Curfew imposed following a series of explosions in Sri Lanka was lifted at 6 am, as scheduled.
Five Indians Killed in Sri Lanka Blasts
Five Indians have died in the serial blasts in Colombo that ripped through Sri Lanka on Sunday, 21 April. While Union Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that three Indians had died, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted on Monday, 22 April that two more Indians were killed in the blast.
@SushmaSwaraj— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 22, 2019
We sadly confirm the deaths of the following two individuals in the blasts yesterday:
- K G Hanumantharayappa
Death Toll Rises to 290
Death toll from attacks on Sri Lankan churches and hotels rises to 290, and about 500 are wounded, a police spokesperson said on Monday morning.
7 JD(S) Leaders Touring Sri Lanka 'Missing' After Blasts
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that a 7-member team of JDS workers from Karnataka, who were touring Colombo, have gone missing after the series of bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. He added that two of them are feared dead.
"“I’m shocked to hear that a 7-member team of JDS workers from Karnataka, who were touring Colombo, has gone missing after bomb blasts. 2 of them are feared killed. I’m in constant touch with Indian High Commission on reports of those missing.”" - HD Kumaraswamy, Karnataka CM
Two JD(S) Workers Declared Dead
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has confirmed the deaths of two JD(S) workers who were touring Sri Lanka.
They have been identified as KG Hanumantharayappa and M Rangappa.
The two workers were a part of the seven-member team that was touring the island nation.
Sri Lanka Blasts Carried Out by 7 Suicide Bombers
The six church and hotel bombings in Sri Lanka were reportedly carried out by seven suicide bombers, a government forensic analyst told Associated Press.
Kerala Govt to Send 15-Member Medical Experts to Sri Lanka
The Kerala government has formed a medical team of 15 experts to assist Sri Lanka blasts victims.
The state government is reportedly holding discussions with MEA to make necessary arrangements to send the team to Sri Lanka to assist the blast victims, reported ANI.
Police Curfew to Be Reimposed Tonight
Police curfew to be reimposed at 8pm on Monday, 22 April, till 4 am on 23 of April, said cabinet minister Rajitha Senaratne, addressing a press conference.
'We Apologise to The People of Sri Lanka,' Says Cabinet Minister
Sri Lanka cabinet minister Rajitha Senaratne admitted that irrespective of their knowledge of the incident, they were responsible for it.
“We are doing our best at the moment. We apologise from the people," said Senaratne.
"“We are doing our best. This morning President, Prime Minister, State Defence Minister met for first time. Unified political leadership today to overcome this situation and we will take every action to eradicate terrorism from our country.”" - Rajitha Senaratne
Sri Lankan Govt Announces Compensation
The Sri Lankan government has announced Rs 1 million compensation for families of those who died and Rs 1,00,000 for funerals.
TN Thowheed Jamath Condemns Bombings
The Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath, which a Times of India report claimed was associated with Sri Lanka’s NTJ, strongly condemned the bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.
“We share our deepest sympathies, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones in this worst tragedy. Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath urges the government of Sri Lanka to act swiftly to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice,” a release said.
Sri Lanka Says National Thowheed Jamath Behind Attacks
The Sri Lankan government has held local jihadist group National Thowheed Jamath as responsible for blasts, which killed at least 290 people on Easter Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Chief of National Intelligence had warned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) regarding the probable attacks before 11 April.
"On 4 April, international intelligence agencies had warned of these attacks. The IGP was informed on 9 April," Senaratne said.
He said that the local outfit identified as the National Thowheed Jamath – a radical Muslim group – is suspected of plotting the deadly explosions.
"There may be international links to them," he added.
Senaratne sought the resignation of police chief Pujith Jayasundera in view of the major security lapse.
Sri Lankan President to Declare Nationwide Emergency: Reports
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will declare nationwide emergency from midnight on Monday following Easter Day blasts, reported Reuters.
National Thowheed Jamath Denies Responsibility
The National Thowheed Jamath has denied responsibility for the serial blasts, after the Sri Lankan government named the group on Monday, 22 April.
All Suicide Bombers Believed to be Sri Lankan Nationals: Govt Spokesperson
Health Minister and the government spokesperson, Rajitha Senaratne, said that all suicide bombers involved in the blasts are believed to be Sri Lankan nationals.
Indian Coast Guard on High Alert to Prevent Perpetrators from Escaping: Sources
The Indian Coast Guard is on high alert along the maritime boundary with Sri Lanka, with ships and maritime surveillance aircraft Dornier deployed on the border to prevent any attempts by suicide bombing perpetrators to escape from Sri Lanka, sources cited by ANI said.
Sri Lankan Police Finds 87 Bomb Detonators at Colombo Bus Station
The Sri Lankan police has found 87 bomb detonators at Colombo’s main bus station, Reuters reported, quoting a spokesperson.
Sri Lanka to Reimpose Night Curfew After Multiple Blasts
Sri Lanka on Monday ordered a new night-time curfew following the multiple suicide attacks on Sunday.
The decision to reimpose curfew comes hours after authorities lifted a previous curfew on Monday morning. "The police curfew which was lifted at 6 this morning is to be re-imposed at 8 pm Monday until 4 am Tuesday," the Government Information Department said.
Fresh Blast in Colombo: Van Explodes Near Church, No Injuries Yet
A van parked near the church in Colombo that was bombed on Easter Sunday exploded on Monday, but no injuries have been reported. The explosion took place as the police were trying to defuse a new bomb found near the church, reported AFP, quoting the Sri Lankan police.
Indians at Shangri-La Hotel Saw Fellow Guests Injured by Huge Glass Shrapnels
An Indian national, who escaped the worst terror attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, said it was a "horrific sight" to see huge chunks of glass on the bodies of fellow guests and white aprons of chefs drenched in blood after a suicide bomber struck a luxury hotel in Colombo.
Akshat Saraf, 30, was in Colombo's Shangri-La Hotel with his wife and infant daughter when the explosions struck. They could hear blasts from their room on the 25th floor.
"First blast was very loud and our room started shaking. At first I thought it was a thunderstorm and I didn't pay too much attention. It had been raining in Sri Lanka for some time," he told CNN.
"It was the second blast when I sensed that something was not right," he said.
8 Indians Among Nearly 300 Killed in Sri Lanka Blasts
As many as eight Indians have been killed in the multiple bomb blasts that rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday.
The Indian High Commission on Monday confirmed the deaths of two more individuals in the attacks, namely Vemurai Tulsiram and SR Nagaraj.
Among the others whose deaths have been confirmed by the High Commission and Sushma Swaraj are Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar, Ramesh, KG Hanumantharayappa and M Rangappa.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday identified a Keralite, PS Rasina (58), among those also killed in the blasts. However, this has not been confirmed by the Indian government yet.
Sri Lanka's President Declares 23 April a National Day of Mourning.
Sri Lanka's president has declared 23 April a national day of mourning.
President Maithripala Sirisena's office announced the measure in a statement late Monday.
The statement also says that Sirisena would meet with foreign diplomats to seek international assistance.
It citied intelligence agencies' reports that "international groups" were involved with the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed nearly 300 people. The statement did not provide more details about the groups.
The statement also said the president instructed Sri Lanka's security forces to provide additional security at the nation's Catholic churches.
Sri Lankan Military Given Sweeping Powers After Bombings
Sri Lanka's president gave the military sweeping police powers in the wake of the Easter bombings that killed nearly 300 people, while officials disclosed that intelligence agencies had warned weeks ago of the possibility of an attack by the radical Muslim group blamed for the bloodshed.
The military was given a wider berth starting Tuesday to detain and arrest suspects – powers that were used during the civil war but withdrawn when it ended.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could unleash instability and he vowed to "vest all necessary powers with the defense forces" to act against those responsible.
FBI Says It's Aiding Sri Lanka Investigation
The FBI says it's providing assistance in the investigation into the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.
An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the aid on Monday but did not elaborate on what specific help was being offered or provided.
The FBI routinely helps foreign governments in investigating terror attacks outside the United States, including by providing agents on the ground or technical expertise.
Sri Lanka Observes Nationwide 3-Minute Silence for Blast Victims
Sri Lankans across the nation observed three minutes of silence on Tuesday morning in tribute to the nearly 300 people killed in the string of suicide attacks. National flags were lowered and people bowed their heads at 8:30 am, the time of the first of six attacks on Sunday, reported AFP.
Death Toll in Sri Lanka Rises to 310
The death toll in the Sri Lanka blasts has risen to 310, AFP reported, quoting a police spokesperson.
40 Suspects Arrested in Blasts: Police Spokesperson
On Tuesday morning, a police spokesperrson announced that 40 people are now under arrest in the Sri Lanka blasts, reported AFP.
Sri Lanka Never Expected Bombings of Such Magnitude: Defence Secretary
The Sri Lankan government never expected the Easter Sunday bombings of such magnitude, Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando said on Tuesday and asserted that it would have been "impossible" to protect a large number of churches in the country despite receiving prior intelligence about the attacks which killed 310 people, including eight Indians.
"It was quite impossible to protect a large number of churches last Sunday despite receiving prior information to these attacks," Fernando told reporters.
He said the government did not expect an attack of such magnitude to occur and the extensive measures to prevent the bombings despite would have been impossible.
"An emergency law is non-functional in this country since Sri Lanka is a democratic country. Therefore there is very little I can do" the Defence Secretary was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.
Sri Lankan Police Holding Syrian National in Custody Over Attacks: Report
Sri Lankan police are holding a Syrian national in custody for questioning over the attacks, reported Reuters quoting sources.
Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka Announces Two More Deaths
The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka announced on Tuesday that two more Indians had been killed in the multiple bomb blasts that rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday. This takes the total number of Indians killed in the tragedy to 10. The embassy identified the two as A Maregowda and Mr. H Puttaraju.
Regret to confirm the deaths of two more Indian nationals Mr. A Maregowda and Mr. H Puttaraju in the blasts in Sri Lanka on Sunday, taking the total number of Indian deaths in the tragedy to 10 as of now.@SushmaSwaraj— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 23, 2019
Probe Shows Sri Lanka Bombings 'Retaliation for Christchurch'
Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said in an address to Parliament on Tuesday that the early findings of the ongoing probe found that the suicide bombings were in revenge for the deadly shootings at two mosques in Christchurch just weeks ago which left 50 people dead.
Sri Lanka Death Toll Rises to 321: Police
Death toll in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday bombing has now risen to 321, police said, reported CNN. In addition to those killed, Minister Wijewardene said 500 people were injured, of which 375 are still being treated in hospital.
Sri Lanka Minister of Defence Proposes Banning of National Thowheeth Jama’ath
Making a special statement in the Sri Lankan parliament, Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene on Tuesday proposed the banning of terrorist organisation National Thowheeth Jama’ath, the local jihadist outfit which is suspected of plotting the deadly blasts.
Two Domestic Islamist Organisations Responsible for Attacks: Minister
A Sri Lankan minister said on Tuesday that two domestic Islamist organisations, including National Thawheed Jama'ut, are responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks, reported Reuters.
45 Children Among Those Killed in Bombings: UNICEF
UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac on Tuesday said that 45 children were among those killed in Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings, reported Reuters.
IS Claims Responsibility for Sri Lanka Bombings
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings through its Amaq news agency, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
It identified the seven suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks.
In a statement issued through its Amaq agency, the ISIS said that "the executors of the attack that targeted citizens of coalition states and Christians in Sri Lanka two days ago were with the group," according to the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activities.
The statement identified the attackers as Abu Ubayda, Abu al-Mukhtar, Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu al-Bara'a, Abu Muhammad and Abu Abdullah, and their respective targets.
CCTV Footage of Suspected Suicide Bomber Surfaces
CCTV footage showing a suspected suicide bomber carrying a backpack and walking into the St Sebastian church on Easter Sunday surfaced on Tuesday.
#WATCH Colombo: CCTV footage of suspected suicide bomber (carrying a backpack) walking into St Sebastian church on Easter Sunday. #SriLankaBombings (Video courtesy- Siyatha TV) pic.twitter.com/YAe089D72h— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2019
'Making Good Progress in Identifying Culprits Behind Bombings': Sri Lankan PM
In a televised address on Tuesday, Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the investigators were making good progress with regard to identifying the culprits behind the bombings.
"“Many countries are helping us, starting from the United States. I condole the death of all those who lost their lives.”" - Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, as quoted by ANI
The PM further said that he cannot conclusively say that the blasts were due to the Christchurch attack in New Zealand.
"“It is possible it could have been due to the Christchurch attack, but we cannot say yet. Police who are questioning will be able to say.”" - Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, as quoted by ANI
Two Suicide Bombers Sons of Influential Businessman: Report
Two of the suicide bombers involved in the Sri Lanka blasts were the sons of a millionaire businessman, spice trader and member of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party, identified as Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim, according a Firstpost report citing Indian intelligence sources.
The sons were 33-year-old Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim and 31-year-old Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim who are said to have carried out the attacks at the Cinnamon Grand and Shangri-La hotels, the report said.
TN Thowheed Jamath Says it Halted ISIS from Spreading its Tentacles in State
The Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath on Tuesday denied any links with the Sri Lanka based National Thowheed Jamath which is suspected of plotting the Easter Sunday blasts and reaffirmed its commitment to democracy.
The Tamil Nadu-based outfit has a significant clout especially among the Muslim youth for its stand on firmly toeing Islamic tenets.
It said its work ensured that ideology of the ISIS did not find any takers in the state.
SL Prez Says Intelligence Report Warning of Attacks Wasn't Shared With Him
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday said the intelligence report warning of attacks was not shared with him, as he expected to change the heads of defence forces within 24 hours, reported Reuters.
A Reuters report citing sources also claimed that Sri Lankan intelligence officials were warned by their Indian counterparts about a threat to churches only two hours before the bombings took place.
ISIS Suspect Arrested in India Gave Advance Warning of Sri Lanka Bombings: Report
Advance warning from India’s intelligence services to Sri Lankan officials attacks came from an ISIS suspect arrested in India who named one of the bombers, CNN reported quoting sources.
During interrogation, the suspect named a man he trained in Sri Lanka, who is associated with a local extremist group blamed in the bombings, according to CNN.
Sri Lanka PM Says Prior Intelligence Inputs Warned of Attacks Including on Indian HC
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted on Tuesday that there had been prior intelligence warnings about the attacks in the country, including on the Indian High Commission in Colombo, reported PTI.
Talking to reporters, he also said that there will be changes in the top positions of the security establishment following the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings which killed 321 people and injured over 500.
Wickremesinghe said there had been prior intelligence warnings on the attacks including on the Indian High Commission.
Hours Before the Attack, India Had Warned Sri Lanka: Report
Two hours before a series of suicide bombing killed nearly 300 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Indian intelligence officers had tipped off their Sri Lankan counter part, reported Reuters quoting sources.
Death Toll Rises to 359: Police
The death toll from the Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka rose to 359, police said on Wednesday, 24 April, adding that more suspects have been arrested overnight raising the total detained to 58.
More Than 60 Held in Connection With SL Bombing: Dy Defence Minister
Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister has said that over 60 people have been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday suicide bomb blasts which claimed the lives of at least 359 people.
Addressing a press conference, he added that the leader of local Islamist group that carried out attacks committed suicide at Shangri-La hotel.
Nine Suicide Bombers Involved in the Blast
Sri Lanka police say investigation has confirmed that there were nine suicide bombers, of which eight have been identified. According to news agency Reuters, one of the nine bombers was a woman.
. Read more on World by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsNine Suicide Bombers, Including Woman, Involved in the SL Blast . Read more on World by The Quint.