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BANGKOK 21 May 2019 15:26
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Sri Lanka lifts curfew after bomb attacks kill 290, wound 500

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Sri Lanka lifts curfew after bomb attacks kill 290, wound 500

 

2019-04-22T031719Z_1_LYNXNPEF3L040_RTROPTP_4_SRI-LANKA-BLASTS.JPG

A security officer stands in front of St Anthony's shrine in Colombo, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

 

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Authorities lifted a curfew in Sri Lanka on Monday, a day after 290 people were killed and about 500 wounded by a string of bombings that tore through churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday.

 

There was still no claim of responsibility for the attacks on two churches and four hotels in and around Colombo, the capital of predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka, and a third church on the country's northeast coast.

 

A government source said President Maithripala Sirisena, who was abroad when the attacks happened, had called a meeting of the National Security Council early on Monday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would attend the meeting, the source said.

 

There were fears the attacks could spark a renewal of communal violence, with police 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 had been at war for decades with Tamil separatists but extremist violence had been on the wane since the civil war

ended 10 years ago.

 

The South Asian nation of about 22 million people has Christian, Muslim and Hindu populations of between about eight and 12 percent.

 

The island-wide curfew imposed by the government was lifted early on Monday, although there was uncharacteristically thin

traffic in the normally bustling capital.

 

Soldiers armed with automatic weapons stood guard outside major hotels and the World Trade Centre in the business district, where the four hotels were targeted on Easter Sunday, according to a Reuters witness.

 

Scores of people who were stranded overnight at the main airport began making their way home as restrictions were lifted.

 

The government also blocked access to social media and messaging sites, including Facebook and WhatsApp, making information hard to come by.

Wickremsinghe acknowledged on Sunday that the government had some prior information about possible attacks on churches involving a little-known Islamist group, but said ministers had not been told.

 

Sri Lankans accounted for the bulk of the 290 people killed and 500 wounded, although government officials said 32 foreigners were also killed. These included British, U.S., Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nations. A British mother and son eating breakfast at the luxury Shangri-La hotel were among those killed, Britain's The Telegraph newspaper reported.

 

One Australian survivor, identified only as Sam, told Australia's 3AW radio the hotel was a scene of "absolute carnage".

 

He said he and a travel partner were also having breakfast at the Shangri-La when two blasts went off. He said he had seen two men wearing backpacks seconds before the blasts.

 

"There were people screaming and dead bodies all around," he said. "Kids crying, kids on the ground, I don't know if they were dead or not, just crazy."

 

There were similar scenes of carnage at two churches in or near Colombo, and a third church in the northeast town of Batticaloa, where worshippers had gathered for Easter Sunday services. Pictures from the scene showed bodies on the ground and blood-spattered pews and statues.

 

Dozens were killed in one of the blasts at the Gothic-style St. Sebastian church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo. Police said they suspected that blast was a suicide attack.

 

Three police officers were also killed when security forces raided a house in Colombo several hours after the attacks.

 

Police reported an explosion at the house.

 

(GRAPHIC: Sri Lanka bombings, 2Xy02BA) 

 

(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Writing by Paul Tait; Editing by Michael Perry)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-22

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Posted (edited)

From Sri Lanka, registered at the Hotel as "Mohamed Azzam Mohamed" 

" The suicide bomber waited patiently in a queue for the Easter Sunday breakfast buffet at Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Grand hotel before setting off explosives strapped to his back.

Carrying a plate, the man, who had registered at the hotel the night before as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, was just about to be served when he set off his devastating strike in the packed restaurant, a manager at the Sri Lankan hotel said."

Sri Lanka bomber queued at hotel buffet then unleashed devastation

 

Edited by Opl
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When the counter was on 215, the following from countries were confirmed

 

SRI LANKA DEATH TOLL
By nationality
- Sri Lanka: 179*
- UK: 3
- India: 3
- Dual U.S./UK: 2
- China: 2
- Turkey: 2
- Netherlands: 1
- Portugal: 1
- Unidentified foreigners: 22*
- Total: 215
* = Current estimate

 

 

The Netherlands is a woman aged 54, she is an expat and was on holiday to Sri Lanka with her family.

 

 

 

All rest in peace.

 

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According to a Dawn report, a common factor linking the church attacks was that they predominantly targeted Tamil Christians. Only a small fraction of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups."

There have been no attacks in Sri Lanka linked to foreign Islamist groups, but in January Sri Lankan police seized a haul of explosives and detonators following the arrest of four men from a newly formed radical Muslim group.

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1 hour ago, Bluetongue said:

Nice soft targets, revenge for Christchurch?

Surely, if revenge for Christchurch, the targets would have been predominantly white Australians ? 

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2 hours ago, Bluetongue said:

Nice soft targets, revenge for Christchurch?

Good point. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, phantomfiddler said:

Surely, if revenge for Christchurch, the targets would have been predominantly white Australians ? 

Not necessarily. It's a security issue. 

Edited by Pharoticus

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18 minutes ago, phantomfiddler said:

Surely, if revenge for Christchurch, the targets would have been predominantly white Australians ? 

It is if you apply logic but not if "Bluetongue" was just trolling

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terrible especially since they have had a 10 year reprieve from 30 years of a bloody civil war with numerous bombings. i have friends there messaged but no reply yet.

 

 

there is a ben kingsley movie specifically about their bloody civil war and freely available in its entirety

 

 

 

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I sincerely hope that any criminal murdering in a house of worship any house any religion murdering in the name of religion any religion suffers a very long painfull death just disgusting this is the lowest form of life they must be stamped out

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Its tourism industry sadly will be seriously effected . It was up 400% over the last several years and was a real alternative to bali and Thailand

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human beings are the only species on earth who use sophisticated methods to  kill their own fellow human beings in order to prove they are right

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