SRI LANKAN BOMBINGS
Updated Coverage Of The Sri Lankan Bombings
April 24, 2019
Citizens of Sri Lanka live in terror as nine bombs in total were detonated on Sunday in the country’s capital city of Colombo. This marks the deadliest instance in the country’s history since the civil war in Sri Lanka ended. At approximately 9:05 A.M, Sri Lankan time, an explosion took place in Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. “We are deeply saddened and shocked by the incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the casualties and those who have been affected,” the company stated.
At least eight explosions were reported in attacks on churches and hotels against Sri Lanka. Each church was bombed during their Easter service. “You can see pieces of flesh thrown all over the walls and on the sanctuary and even outside of the church,” a minister of one of the churches stated.
The seventh explosion occurred in front of a zoo in Dehiala, which is about twenty minutes outside of the capital. Police have urged citizens to stay in their homes and have issued a mandatory curfew. The country has currently shut down most of the social media connection for hope it would help stop the spread of fake news about the attacks.
A six-foot long pipe bomb was found Sunday night on a road leading to the Bandaranaike International Airport. Officials also found 87 bomb detonators at a private terminal of the Central Bus Stand in Colombo on Monday morning.
Currently, thirty-nine tourists were killed in the bombings on Easter Sunday, while twenty- eight are currently receiving hospital treatment. 321 people have been killed in total. “I wish to assure the tourism industry that the government has taken every possible measure to ensure the safety of the public and all tourists who are in the country. The three-armed forces along with the police have put in place a comprehensive security plan covering hotels, resorts and places of tourist interest,” John Amaratunga, the minister of tourism, wildlife and Christian religious affairs, said in a statement.
ISIS has taken responsibility for the attacks, saying its fighters ran the operation, but there is currently no evidence of direct involvement. Twenty-four people have been arrested in connections to the bombings.
UPDATE: Inshan Seelavan, one of the suicide bombers of the Shangri-La hotel and a local factory owner, has been identified as the mastermind behind the attacks. The President has asked for the resignation of the country’s defense minister, Hemasiri Fernando, and the country’s police chief, Pujith Jayasundara. Before the bombings, leaders of India warned Sri Lankan leaders of the attacks. Three warnings were issued to the country. One on April fourth, another on April twentieth. The last warning was issued the morning of the attack. Sri Lankan officials have acknowledged that they received the information about the possible attacks, but the President and Prime Minister have stated that they did not receive the information.