/Sri Lanka lifts curfew after bomb attacks kill 290, wound 500

Sri Lanka lifts curfew after bomb attacks kill 290, wound 500

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Authorities lifted a curfew in Sri Lanka on Monday, a day after 290 folks have been killed and about 500 wounded by a string of bombings that tore by way of church buildings and luxurious resorts on Easter Sunday.

There was nonetheless no declare of accountability for the attacks on two church buildings and 4 resorts in and round Colombo, the capital of predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka, and a 3rd church on the nation’s northeast coast.

A authorities supply stated President Maithripala Sirisena, who was overseas when the attacks occurred, had known as a gathering of the National Security Council early on Monday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would attend the assembly, the supply stated.

There have been fears the attacks might spark a renewal of communal violence, with police reporting late on Sunday there had been a petroleum bomb assault on a mosque within the northwest and arson attacks on two outlets owned by Muslims within the west.

Sri Lanka had been at struggle for many years with Tamil separatists however extremist violence had been on the wane because the civil struggle ended 10 years in the past.

The South Asian nation of about 22 million folks has Christian, Muslim and Hindu populations of between about eight and 12 p.c.

The island-wide curfew imposed by the federal government was lifted early on Monday, though there was uncharacteristically skinny visitors within the usually bustling capital.

Soldiers armed with automated weapons stood guard outdoors main resorts and the World Trade Center within the enterprise district, the place the 4 resorts have been focused on Easter Sunday, in response to a Reuters witness.

Scores of people that have been stranded in a single day on the foremost airport started making their manner dwelling as restrictions have been lifted.

The authorities additionally blocked entry to social media and messaging websites, together with Facebook and WhatsApp, making data exhausting to return by.

A safety officer stands in entrance of St Anthony’s shrine in Colombo, after bomb blasts ripped by way of church buildings and luxurious resorts on Easter, in Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Wickremsinghe acknowledged on Sunday that the federal government had some prior details about attainable attacks on church buildings involving a little-known Islamist group, however stated ministers had not been informed.

Sri Lankans accounted for the majority of the 290 folks killed and 500 wounded, though authorities officers stated 32 foreigners have been additionally killed. These included British, U.S., Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nations.

A British mom and son consuming breakfast on the luxurious Shangri-La resort have been amongst these killed, Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper reported.

One Australian survivor, recognized solely as Sam, informed Australia’s 3AW radio the resort was a scene of “absolute carnage”.

He stated he and a journey companion have been additionally having breakfast on the Shangri-La when two blasts went off. He stated he had seen two males carrying backpacks seconds earlier than the blasts.

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

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There have been related scenes of carnage at two church buildings in or close to Colombo, and a 3rd church within the northeast city of Batticaloa, the place worshippers had gathered for Easter Sunday companies. Pictures from the scene confirmed our bodies on the bottom and blood-spattered pews and statues.

Dozens have been killed in one of many blasts on the Gothic-style St. Sebastian church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo. Police stated they suspected that blast was a suicide assault.

Three law enforcement officials have been additionally killed when safety forces raided a home in Colombo a number of hours after the attacks.

Police reported an explosion on the home.

Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Writing by Paul Tait; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link reuters.com

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