Easter Sri Lanka Bombings, More Than 200 Dead

St. Anthony's Shrine, photo by Antan O.

Three churches and three hotels have been struck by powerful bombs in Sri Lanka, leaving more than 200 dead and another 450 injured.

The police are reporting seven arrests have been made, but the names of the detainees are not being released.

Initial reports indicate that the name used by one of the bombers was Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, according to the Economic Times of India. He was in a hotel buffet line when he detonated his suicide vest.

The locations struck are:

St. Anthony’s Shrine, one of the country’s most famed churches

St. Sebastian’s Church

Zion Church

The Shangri-La Hotel

The Kingsbury Columbo Hotel

The Cinnamon Grand Columbo Hotel

The coordination, registered names, suicide bomb jackets, dates and targets strongly suggest an Islamic terrorism attack, but the police and the Sri Lankan government have not yet confirmed that.

The Straits Times, however, has verified that the nation’s Police Chief had issued a warning ten days ago, informing citizens that “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.”


Pope Francis issued a condemnation of the attacks at the end of the Easter mass.

“I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka,” Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square to hear his Easter Sunday “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message.

“I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence,” said Francis, who visited Sri Lanka in 2015.

“I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically died and I pray for the wounded and for all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event,” he said.


The Secretary-General of the United Nations has tweeted his condemnation of the attackers and his support for Christians and Sri Lankans.

President Trump began tweeting this morning with condolences for Sri Lanka and a statement about being ready to render aid.

Defense minister Ruwan Wijewardene has stated that the perpetrators have been identified as religious extremists, but has not specified names or the group to which they belong. The Sri Lankan government has temporarily shut down social media throughout the country in an effort to prevent violence which may be triggered through propagated misinformation, and has established a curfew as they assess and address the situation.

Per The Guardian, most of the dead were locals, with 36 foreign citizens believed to be among the slain. Five are British citizens (two with dual citizenship in the US), three from India, one from Holland, one from Portugal and two from Turkey, with the remainder as yet undisclosed.

Al Jazeera has produced a list of world leaders who have condemned the attacks, including Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel (Jewish); Narenda Modi of India (Hindu); Imran Khan of Pakistan (Islamic); Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (Islamic) and leaders of countries are are antagonistic toward the United States and would not be inclined to follow U.S. leads, such as Vladimir Putin of Russia and the Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.