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04/26/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – The official death toll following the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka have been lowered by government officials. According to Sri Lankan authorities, the death toll now stands at “approximately” 253 people killed and over 500 others injured.

This correction comes a day after police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara claimed that 359 people had been killed in the attacks on churches and hotels. Despite this lowering of the official death toll, last Sunday’s suicide attacks remain among the deadliest single terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka’s independent history.

The country’s top health ministry official, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, explained the inaccuracy of earlier reports late on Thursday. According to Dr. Jasinghe, the explosions damaged some bodies beyond recognition, making a positive identification difficult.

On Easter Sunday, April 21, suicide bombers attacked three churches and three hotels across Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter worship services. Among the worst sites hit by these coordinated attacks was St. Sebastian’s Church where over 100 Christians were reportedly killed.

Days later, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sri Lankan government officials have speculated the attacks were in retaliations for the New Zealand mosque shootings that took place in March.

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