04/22/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – The death toll following the Easter bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka has risen to at least 290. In addition, reports claim that more than 500 more were injured in the series of attacks.
The bombings started at approximately 8:30 a.m. yesterday, April 21, as Easter services commenced at churches across Sri Lanka. The six explosions at three churches, including St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, St. Anthony’s Shine in Colombo, and Zion Church in Batticoloa, and three popular hotels in Colombo culminated in the worst terrorist attack in Sri Lanka since the end of the country’s civil war in 2009.
The largest death toll was endured by Christians worshiping at St. Sebastian’s Church. At least 104 Christians were killed in the bombing of the church.
According to the Washington Post, members of the Sri Lankan government have accused a local Islamist extremist group, the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), of being behind the attacks.
Speaking to the media, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the NTJ had perpetrated the attacks and used suicide bombers. “We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Minister Senaratne explained. “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”
To date, no group has officially claimed responsibility for the deadly bombings. However, the government has imposed a curfew and implored the public to refrain from sharing unverified information via social media platforms.
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