With the death toll in the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka increasing to 290, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera on Monday confirmed that 24 people have been arrested for their involvement in the island’s bloodiest attacks in a decade.
Gunasekera confirmed the toll and the arrests to the media here. He also added that 500 people were injured.
The Sunday night toll was at 207, which was revised as more bodies were recovered and some more succumbed to their injuries, the Guardian reported.
Gunasekara said that the police has seized a van and its driver who is suspected of transporting the suspects into Colombo and also raided a safe house used by the attackers.
No group has yet claimed direct responsibility for the eight bombings that ripped through churches and hotels, mostly in the capital Colombo, on Sunday.
17 foreign nationals killed in Sri Lanka blasts
At least 17 people from eight countries, including three from India, are amongst those who were killed in eight deadly blasts which rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday, said Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.
The ministry said that 19 foreign nationals injured in the attacks are receiving treatment at Colombo National Hospital.
People from at least eight countries were killed in the series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, including five citizens of Britain, three Indian nationals, three Danes, two each from China and Turkey and one each from Netherlands and Portugal, reported CNN.
The ministry said in a statement earlier that nine foreign nationals were reported missing and that 25 unidentified bodies at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s mortuary were believed to be that of foreigners, reported CNN.
At least 207 people were killed and hundreds of others suffered injuries in a series of eight explosions in churches and high-end hotels in Sri Lanka, reported CNN.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet.
Several countries including India, Unites States and the United Kingdom have condemned the attacks.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Special Task Force raided a house in Colombo’s Orugodawatta in connection with the blasts. Seven people were also arrested in relation to the attacks by the authorities earlier. (ANI)
International community condemns Easter Sunday blasts
Leaders from India and other countries on Sunday condemned the series of attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka which have killed 190 people and injured more than 450 amid Easter celebrations in the country.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said: “India condemns the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and offers its condolences to the people and government of the country.
“Such senseless violence, aimed at innocent people, has no place in civilized society. We stand in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka.”
India condemns the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and offers its condolences to the people and government of the country. Such senseless violence, aimed at innocent people, has no place in civilised society. We stand in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 21, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his thoughts were with the victims and their families. “Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region.
“India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka,” he said.
“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,” British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted.
“We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practice their faith in fear,” she added.
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) April 21, 2019
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez added: “I most vehemently condemn the terrible attacks in Sri Lanka. It makes us weep to think of the dozens of victims who were celebrating Easter. The terror and barbarity will never crush us.”
The President of the European Council said Europe stood ready to support Sri Lanka at this juncture.
“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who had gathered to worship peacefully or come to visit this beautiful country,” the official tweeted.
The Catholic Churches in the Holy Land on Sunday too expressed shock.
“How difficult, angry, and sad these news are, especially as these attacks came while Christians celebrate Easter,” Wadie Abunassar, advisor to Church leaders in the Holy Land, said in a statement from Jerusalem.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: “Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost and hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren.”
Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli posted: “I am deeply saddened by multiple bomb blasts and killings of innocent people in Sri Lanka.”
I am deeply saddened by multiple bomb blasts and killings of innocent people in Sri Lanka. I express my condolence with Rt. Hon’ble Ranil Wickramasinghe, PM of SriLanka and bereaved families of victims of brutality. I wish speedy recovery of the injured.
— K P Sharma Oli (@kpsharmaoli) April 21, 2019
US President Donald Trump wrote on his official twitter handle, “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka.
138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019
Australia PM Scott Morrison also extended his support to Sri Lanka
Our thoughts & prayers are with the beautiful people of Sri Lanka at this terrible time.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) April 21, 2019
Source: IANS, ANI