A string of bombings at churches, luxury hotels and other sites on Easter Sunday killed at least 290 people, including several Americans, in a suspected act of terror on the island of Sri Lanka. More than 500 people were also injured.
According to USA Today,
Six nearly simultaneous explosions hit hotels and churches as worshipers gathered for Easter services in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. Hours later, there were two more blasts, one at a guesthouse that killed two people and another near an overpass in the area of Dematagoda on the outskirts of the capital of Colombo, according to a Sri Lankan military spokesman, Brig. Sumith Atapattu.
As of early Monday local time, no one had claimed responsibility, but police said 13 suspects had been arrested. according to the Associated Press, the attacks were carried out by seven suicide bombers.
Ariyananda Welianga, a forensic crime investigator after examining the attackers’ body parts said that they were suicide bombers .
Bhanuka Harischandra, a 24-year-old founder of a tech marketing company who was going to the Shangri-La Hotel for a meeting when it was bombed,
“People were being dragged out. People didn’t know what was going on. It was panic mode….There was blood everywhere.”
In the ninth explosion, three police officers were killed during a search at a suspected safe house on the outskirts of Colombo when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest.
At least 27 foreigners from conutries like Britain China, Japan and Portugal. were among the dead in Colombo, according to Anil Jasinghe, director general of health services. Among them were two who were citizens of both the U.S. and United Kingdom. The names of the U.S. victims have not been released.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department,
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terror attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter morning. Attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear, and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security.”
But Trump inexplicably tweeted yesterday morning that MILLIONS were killed in the attack. The tweet remained up for 20 minutes before being deleted.
President Trump tweets (then deletes) claim that 138 million people were killed in today’s Sri Lanka explosions. Our latest reporting states that the blasts killed more than 150 people, with hundreds injured. https://t.co/1zf3ns3qKG pic.twitter.com/6IL9Wq0zDn— Jennifer Hassan (@GuinnessKebab) April 21, 2019
Black Sunday #SriLankaBlast❗— Vijay Fans World (@VijayFansWorlds) April 22, 2019
What we know so far.
3 churches blasts
1 housing scheme
36 foreigners died
3 policemen died
24 suspects arrested
Social Media banned #PrayforSriLanka🙏#EasterAttackSL #LKA #SriLanka pic.twitter.com/yWIfXsHjqo
What haven’t we been through? 30 years of civil war, devastating Tsunami, horrible floods, constitutional crisis/coup… But through it all Sri Lankans have been RESILIENT! We’ve always made it. We will get through this as well, as long as we stand united🙏🏾#lka #srilanka— Rochelle🇱🇰 (@itsRochelleWick) April 22, 2019
(Photo, YouTube, USA Today map; via USA Today)