Mass Bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter
The Sri Lankan government has declared an immediate curfew across the entire nation in the wake of recent bombings which have been labelled as the worst in the decade. The country has been gripped by a series of blasts which took place both in and around the national capital.
Three blasts took place in three different churches and three in luxury hotels took place in succession with two more blasts later. The blasts have caused heavy devastation and led to the killing of around 158 people in all. It is after the eighth blast that the government has declared curfew across the whole nation. Major social media apps and other messaging services have also been barred. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has labelled the attacks as cowardly and said that the government is working to get the situation under control. Many images which made rounds in social media and other local news stations also showed widespread damage at one of the three churches which had been targeted in a series of blasts on the Easter morning.
The injured people have flooded the local hospital in Colombo. Hundreds of them have been admitted for treatment. The church floor in one of the blast sites had been blown up and was splintered with wood and blood. It was later in the day two more blasts rocked Colombo taking the death toll to 158. One blast took place in the suburb of Orugodawatta in the northern part of the capital. The real nature of the blasts was not clear as no terrorist outfit has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
The Police Chief of Colombo had issued an alert to the top officers 10 days before in which it warned that many suicide bombers were planning to carry out attacks in some notable churches. A foreign intelligence agency has said that the National Thowheeth Jama’ath was planning to carry out attacks on some prominent churches and even the Indian High Commission in Colombo. The NTJ is a known radical group of Muslims in Sri Lanka which has been linked last year to vandalising the Buddhist statues.
The first blast occurred at the St. Anthony’s Shrine in the capital city of Colombo. It is a well-known Catholic Church. It was followed by another blast at the St. Sebastian’s Church in the town of Negombo and the third church was attacked in the city of Batticaloa. The three blasts followed the attack on three high-end hotels.