IS Claims Responsibility For Sri Lanka Bombings: 10 Highlights
The Islamic State on Tuesday, 23 April, claimed responsibility for a series of devastating suicide attacks that killed 321 people and wounded more than 500 others in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Here are the latest developments:
(1) IS Claims Responsibility: "Those who carried out the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka... are Islamic State group fighters," the terror group said in a statement through its propaganda 'Amaq' news agency.
(2) Revenge for Christchurch? Meanwhile, a senior Sri Lankan minister informed the Parliament on Tuesday that the country’s worst terror attack was carried out by local Islamist extremists in retaliation for the mosque shootings in New Zealand, citing results of the initial probe.
(3) Bomber Caught on Camera: New CCTV footage has emerged that shows one of the suspected suicide bombers in Sunday’s Easter attack entering St Sebastian’s church in Negombo. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has temporarily banned social media and messaging apps in the wake of the coordinated attacks.
(4) 10 Indians Among Dead: The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka on Tuesday reported two more deaths of Indian citizens, taking the number of casualties from India to 10. The High Commission identified the two deceased Indians as A Maregowda and H Puttaraju.
(5) ‘Close to Catching Culprits’: In a televised address on Tuesday, Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the investigators were making good progress with regard to identifying the culprits behind the bombings. “Many countries are helping us, starting from the United States. I condole the death of all those who lost their lives,” he said.
(6) 40 Suspects Arrested: On Tuesday morning, a police spokesperson announced that 40 people are now under arrest in the Sri Lanka blasts, reported AFP.
(7) 45 Children Killed: UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac on Tuesday said that 45 children were among those killed in the bombings, reported Reuters.
(8) National Mourning: Sri Lankans across the nation observed three minutes of silence on Tuesday morning in tribute to the 300 plus people killed. National flags were lowered and people bowed their heads at 8.30 am, the time of the first of six attacks on Sunday, reported AFP.
(9) Military Gets More Power: Sri Lanka's president, meanwhile, has given the military sweeping police powers in the wake of the bombings, while officials disclosed that intelligence agencies had warned weeks ago of the possibility of an attack.
(10) FBI Aiding Investigation: The FBI has said that it is providing assistance in the investigation into the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the aid on Monday but did not elaborate on what specific help was being offered or provided.
(With inputs from PTI, Reuters, AFP)