As irritating ad it sounds, it turns out that this It is the seventh attack to hit the country on Sunday. The earlier six blasts targeted three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels, wounding more than 450, hospital and police officials said.
While Christians all over the world are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, Easter, faraway in Sri Lanka, hundreds of innocent worshippers and individuals are feared dead.
The toll in a string of blasts on Sunday at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka has risen to at least 215, including 35 foreigners, a police official told AFP.
A hospital source said Americans, British and Dutch citizens were among those killed in the six blasts, which also injured 450 others.
As irritating as it sounds, it turns out that this is the seventh attack to hit the country on Sunday.
The earlier six blasts targeted three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels, wounding more than 450, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago, according to Reuters.
In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.
Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.
The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo. It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.
Nine foreigners were among the dead, the officials said.
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Why Sri Lanka? The Strength of Christians there
Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddhist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 census.
In its 2018 report on Sri Lanka’s human rights, the US State Department noted that some Christian groups and churches reported they had been pressured to end worship activities after authorities classified them as “unauthorized gatherings.”
It will be odd to say, we made a mistake to overlook the warning. The case is, the Sri Lanka’s police chief made a nationwide alert 10 days before Sunday’s bomb attacks in the country that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches”, according to the warning seen by AFP.
Police chief Pujuth Jayasundara sent an intelligence warning to top officers on April 11 setting out the threat.
What The World Is Saying
“The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.
We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear” – Theresa May | @theresa_may.
Other countries across the globe, including India, the US, Russia, Germany, France, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh, expressed shock and condemnation over the deadly blasts.
President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi said New Delhi stood in solidarity with the island nation. Pakistan PM Imran Khan tweeted that his country “stood in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in its hour of grief”.
US President Donald Trump offered “heartfelt condolences” and said US stand ready to help! German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “It is shocking that people who gathered to celebrate Easter together were consciously targeted in this malicious attack.”
By the way, Mr. Trump, the US President erroneously wrote that “138 million people” were killed in the attacks instead of just 138. Hmm.
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As of the time of writing, eight arrested in connection with Sri Lanka blasts.
While other Christians are celebrating, we say, may the dead souls rest in peace.
Tips: economictimes | alarabiya