Colombo bombing: National Thowheeth Jamaath under scanner

Vicky Nanjappa

Colombo, Apr 22: The Sri Lankan police have arrested several members off the National Thowheeth Jamaath in connection with the deadly serial bombings that struck the nation on Sunday.

The NTJ is known to be anti Buddhist and has in the past been involved in the vandalisation of Buddhist statues.

Initial reports that emerged after bomb blasts ripped Colombo suggest that a suicide bomber could have been involved.

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One of the prime reasons for the casualty being so high could be due to the fact that a suicide bomber was involved. The attacks at the Shangri La hotel and the Batticalao Church appear to be the handiwork of a suicide bomber.

The initial impressions also indicate that RDX could have been used in the attack and hence the impact was so high. Over 100 people have been killed in the blasts that took place in Sri Lanka today. Reports suggest that the suicide bombers have been identified as Zahran Hashim and Abu Mohammad.

An Intelligence Bureau official in India tells OneIndia that the target was clearly the Catholics. The Christians who form 6 per cent of the country's population were out in large numbers due to Easter. Moreover the attack comes 10 days after a warning was issued about Churches being attacked in the country.

A message received by the police on April 11 stated that 11 Churches would be attacked. It was further warned that all the Catholics should go home and this should be informed to all the families.

With the blasts today, the intelligence in Sri Lanka has warned that there could be more attacks. The country has been placed under very high alert and security has been tightened all over.

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People have been advised to stay indoors and not venture out. Investigators are on the scene and are gathering as much evidence as possible.

Over 200 people were killed after six blasts ripped across several place in Colombo. 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, police said.

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