Thursday, May 23, 2019 | ePaper

Death toll from Sri Lanka attacks rises sharply to 290

  • Print


Three churches were targeted during Easter services



COLOMBO (Reuters) - Authorities lifted a curfew in Sri Lanka on Monday, a day after a string of bombings at churches and luxury hotels across the Indian Ocean island killed 290 people and wounded about 500, but there were warnings more attacks could come.
There was no claim of responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks on two churches and four hotels in and around Colombo, the capital of predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka, and a third church on the South Asian nation’s northeast coast.Four of the bombs went off at roughly the same time, at 8.45 a.m., with the other two coming within 20 minutes.
Sri Lankans accounted for the bulk of the dead and wounded although government officials said 32 foreigners were killed, including British, U.S., Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who was abroad when the attacks happened, had called a meeting of the National Security Council early on Monday, a government source said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would attend the meeting, the source said.
The Sri Lankan military, who were clearing the route from Colombo airport late on Sunday in preparation for Sirisena’s return, found a crude bomb near the departure gate, an air force spokesman said.
They destroyed the device in a controlled explosion.
There were fears the attacks could spark a renewal of communal violence, with police also reporting late on Sunday there had been a petrol bomb attack on a mosque in the northwest and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims in the west.
Sri Lanka was at war for decades with ethnic minority Tamil separatists but violence had largely ended since the government victory in the civil war, 10 years ago.
Sri Lanka’s 22 million people include Christian, Muslim and Hindu populations of between about eight and 12 percent.
Security forces raided a house in Colombo on Sunday afternoon, several hours after the attack. Police reported an explosion at the house and said three officers were killed.
Police said on Monday 24 people had been arrested, all of whom were Sri Lankan.
The U.S. State Department issued a revised travel warning that said terrorist groups were continuing to plot.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning,” it said in the warning, which was set at two on a scale on which four means do not travel.
Possible targets included tourist spots, transport hubs, shopping malls, hotels, places of worship, airports and other public areas, it said.


More News For this Category

BB reserve heist 5 RCBC officials sued

Philstar.com :The Department of Justice filed an anti-money laundering charge against five more officials of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp over the $81-million cyber heist in 2016.In a resolution made

Probe finds RAJUK’s irregularities in permitting FR Tower construction

More than 50 officials of the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha, or RAJUK, including its former chairman, committed a series of irregularities in permitting the design and construction of Banani's FR Tower,

Brexit: May asked by her MPs to go

The prime minister is facing calls to resign amid a backlash against her Brexit plan from Conservative MPs.Several cabinet ministers have told the BBC that she cannot stay, with one

Advance Eid train ticket sale starts

Advance Eid train ticket sale starts

Hundreds of people thronged five places, including Kamalapur railway station, in the capital on Wednesday to purchase train tickets in advance for travelling during the Eid-ul-Fitr.Tickets for May 31 are

Fare-traps for homegoers

Md Joynal Abedin Khan  :Millions of home-bound passengers are forced to pay extra charges to buy tickets from well-known bus operators ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr. The holidaymakers fall in

Rice import duty finally enhanced

Special Correspondent  :The government has finally imposed a higher duty on import of rice to encourage and sustain local production.Import duty on rice was 28 per cent (25 per cent

Civil Surgeon gave false report on rape victim

Staff Reporter :The High Court (HC) on Wednesday ordered the Director General of the Directorate of Health Services to conduct an enquiry into a "misleading postmortem report" prepared in connection

PWD executive Engr withdrawn

Staff Reporter :The executive engineer of Public Works Department (Pabna office) was withdrawn on Wednesday over allegations of irregularities in purchasing furniture and other household items for officials and other

2 shown arrested in terror case

Staff Reporter  :A former teacher of Lakehead Grammar School and a British-Bangladeshi were shown arrested on Tuesday in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act although their families claim they

Rajshahi DC starts buying paddy from farmers

Rajshahi Correspondent  :Deputy Commissioner (DC) in Rajshahi on Wednesday procured paddy directly from the farmers.He procured paddy while visiting houses of the farmers. DC SM Abdul Kader went to remote