Police Arrest 7 Suspects In Easter Sunday Church Bombings In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka blasts,world news,Sri Lanka blasts easter

Wijewardena did not release any additional information about the arrests of the seven suspects.

The blasts mostly targeted churches and luxury hotels which were frequented by foreigners. Two separate blasts took place in the afternoon, claiming five more lives, including that of three police personnel. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the violence could trigger instability in the country and its economy.

But the scale of Sunday's bloodshed recalled the worst days of the war, when Tigers and other rebels set off explosions at Sri Lanka's Central Bank in downtown Colombo, at a busy shopping mall, an important Buddhist temple and tourist hotels.

Local security officials said at least two of the attacks appeared to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

In total, 207 people were reported killed in the bombings throughout the day, and over 600 were said to be injured to varying degrees. The Easter holiday has brought with it a awful massacre this year though. "I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically been lost and I pray for the wounded and all those who suffer because of this dramatic event".

"I am horrified by the attacks in Sri Lanka, where so many families were celebrating such a joyous day".

Sri Lanka has a history of communal violence between virtually all groups, Mr Keenan said. Of those, about 82 percent are Roman Catholics.

Local TV showed damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels.

The hotel said its Table One restaurant was hit. From outside the police cordon, three bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.

Three churches were also targeted in that wave of blasts: Colombo's historic St Anthony's Shrine, the St Sebastian's church in the town of Negombo - north of the capital - and the Zion Church in the east-coast town of Batticaloa.

Much of the church roof was blown out in the explosion, with roof tiles, glass and splintered wood littering the floor along with pools of blood.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka's government to launch a "very impartial strong inquiry" and to punish those found responsible "mercilessly because only animals can behave like that".

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Messages of condolence and condemnation poured in from around the world.

There are 214 New Zealanders registered as being in Sri Lanka.

The heads of major governments condemned the attacks. Places of worship are sacred, where all should feel safe and secure.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the blasts "an assault on all of humanity", while Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced them as "cruel and cynical".

Hospital sources said British, Dutch and American citizens were among those killed, with Britons and Japanese also injured.

Sri Lankan elderly woman is helped near St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

"These attacks demonstrate the brutal nature of terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace & security", Pompeo said in a tweet. "At this hard time, I affirm our solidarity with the government and people of Sri Lanka and assure our support in the fight against terrorism".

He noted the targeting of foreign tourists was a worrying new development in the country.

The Tigers were crushed in a 2009 government offensive, with some observers believing that tens of thousands of Tamils died in the last few months of fighting alone.

Government troops and the Tamil Tigers were both accused of grave human rights violations, which prompted local and worldwide calls for investigations.

This article was written by Joanna Slater, a reporter for The Washington Post.

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