SL marks a week since the Easter suicide bombings
2019-04-28 at 06:33
Sri Lanka today marks a week since it was hit by a wave of suicide bombings that killed 253 people with more than 450 people sustaining injuries.
Christians had flocked to churches on Easter Sunday when three suicide attackers hit the St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, the St. Sebastian’s Church Katuwapitiya, Katana and the Zion Church, Batticaloa.
Three hotels in Colombo were also the targets of the suicide bombers, with the Cinnamon Grand, the Kingsbury and the Shangri-La Colombo attacked, with two suicide bombers detonating explosives at the latter.
Two suicide bombings were reported later in the afternoon on Easter Sunday, at an inn in Dehiwela and at a residence in Dematagoda.
The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks on the churches and hotels.
In a bulletin posted by its Aamaq news agency, ISIS said: “The perpetrators of the attack that targeted nationals of the countries of the coalitions and Christians in Sri Lanka before yesterday are fighters from the Islamic State”.
Around 100 suspects have been arrested thus far on suspicions over the incident.
Security forces have been able to uncover crucial information upon interrogation of the arrested suspects.
Search operations are being carried out continuously across the island as well.
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has cancelled all Sunday Masses until further notice following the Easter Sunday bombings.
Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said parishioners should instead “stay indoors and say their prayers” and that only when the security situation had improved would small services resume.
The Ministry of Buddha Sasana has informed that all Sunday Dhamma Schools must remain closed, until schools are officially declared open.
Speaking to NewsRadio the Commissioner of Sunday Dhamma Schools, Department of Buddhist Affairs, HM Kumari said the decision to keep Sunday schools closed was reached in consideration of the country’s prevailing security situation.
Cleanup efforts of the St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade commenced yesterday following Sunday’s carnage with the assistance of the Navy.
The Navy said renovation activity will be completed promptly.