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Terror falls on Easter

Eight bombs hit Sunday morning, April 21, churches and luxury hotels in Colombo and elsewhere on the island. According to a provisional report, there would be more than 207 dead and 500 wounded. The curfew was immediately introduced and schools were closed for two days.

Stupor and fear in Sri Lanka. On Easter morning, as Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ, several bombs exploded in the country, "at least 207 dead – including 35 foreigners – and 500 wounded ", according to a provisional balance sheet.

According to the newspaper The Hindu based in Madras, just across the small island of the Indian Ocean, "eight explosions " took place in the early morning, including three in churches, while the Mass was held: at St Antoine, "one of the most famous Catholic places of worship in Colombo "; in St Sebastian, "in the city of Negombo " located north of the capital, near the airport; and in the Sion Church of the city of Batticaloa, a seaside town on the east coast of the country.

Three luxury hotels have also been targeted in the capital, says the Colombo Telegraph : the Shangri-La, inaugurated last year on the waterfront, the Kingsbury located not far away, facing the polder that Chinese companies are building to establish a new financial city, and Cinnamon Grand, located not far from the residence of the Prime Minister.

Of suicide attacks

At the beginning of the afternoon, adds on his side the Daily Mirrortwo other explosions occurred, one in a hotel near the Dehiwala Zoo, still in Colombo, the other in a building in Dematogoda, in the northern suburbs. The authorities indicate that all these attacks were "suicide bombings ". "The president, Maithripala Sirisena, ordered the curfew until further notice " as well as the closure of all schools "for at least two days ".

The information site adaderana.lk reports that authorities have blocked social networks, including WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook and Instagram. Already, a controversy is rising, theIndian Express stating that "foreign secret services " informed the government on 11 April, "that the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) was preparing attacks ". This Islamist organization was involved in 2018 in a case of vandalized Buddhist statues.

Guillaume Delacroix

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