At least 207 people were killed and 560 have been injured in the coordinated terror attacks, which have put the entire country on lock-down. So far, among the dead are 35 foreigners, including French, Americans, Israeli, and Dutch.
They struck luxury hotels, churches, and a home. They murdered innocent men, women, and children with AXES.
The first wave of attacks struck at the heart of the country’s minority Christian community during busy Easter services at churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Sunday morning.
Additional blasts ripped through three high-end hotels, the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury Hotel, all in the capital city Colombo. In a statement, the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo said that the hotel’s Table One cafe was hit just after 9 a.m local time. The hotel is popular with foreign tourists and the country’s business community.
Jacinda Arden expressed her sincere regrets but refused to mention the people responsible — radical Islamists.
The attacks were caused by suicide bombers. Officials were warned in advance that Muslim attacks would be carried out in Christian churches.
Here’s the full list of simultaneous blast sites reported so far:
- St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade
- St Sebastian’s Church, Negombo
- Zion Church, Batticaloa
- Cinnamon Grand, Colombo
- Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
- The Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo
- Near Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia
- A house in Mahawila Gardens, Dematagoda
Seven [radical Islamists] are under arrest, according to Defense Minister, Ruwan Wijewarden. No one is reporting that they are known radical Islamists at this time. The NTJ are responsible and they are radical Islamists.
Father Edmond Tillekeratne, social communications director for the Archdiocese of Colombo, spoke to CNN from St. Sebastian’s Church, one of the locations targeted.
He said that the blast took place after Easter Mass, and that there were about 30 bodies lying in the area of the church.
He said three priests had been celebrating the mass at the time of the blast. Two of them were badly injured by flying glass and debris, and one was only lightly injured because he was behind the altar.
He estimated that more than a thousand people had come to the church for Easter Sunday “because it is a special day.” Many came from villages, he added.
He described the ground as covered in rubble and shattered glass.
“You can see pieces of flesh thrown all over the walls and on the sanctuary and even outside of the church,” he added.
Sri Lanka’s government said on Sunday it would impose a “temporary” social media ban in the wake of the blasts.
Social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, have been blocked. They don’t want any fake news disseminated, such as who the killers are. The defense minister is calling them RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS.
THEY’RE RADICAL ISLAMISTS COMMITTING GENOCIDE
Truly sad to see Sri Lanka’s defence minister calling this an “unfortunate terrorist incident”. It is not only an “unfortunate incident” but an attack on your country and nation, causing the biggest attack since the civil war (which ended 10 years ago). pic.twitter.com/1a1bUT5Zou
— Imam Mohamad Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) April 21, 2019