Sri Lanka bomb blasts: The Sri Lankan police had issued a nationwide alert warning of suicide attacks at “prominent churches” 10 days prior to Sunday’s bombings, reported news agency AFP. The alert was sent by the country’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara on April 11.
The alert stated: “A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian High Commission in Colombo.” The NTJ is a Muslim radical group which has been linked with vandalisation of Buddhist statues in Sri Lanka.
Six blasts rocked the island nation with three targetting Easter Sunday churchgoers. The first blast was reported from St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, the second from St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo and third from a church in Batticaloa.
The other three bombs went off at three five-star hotels in Colombo, the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held an emergency meeting this morning to take stock of the situation. As many as 200 troops have been deployed to carry out relief operations at the blast sites.
(With inputs from AFP)