Easter Sunday attack on Sri Lanka was ranked as the deadliest attacks claimed by the Islamic State,l. However, that claim may not hold true now as officials have revised the death toll. Officials blamed calculation error and stated that the precise death toll now stands at 253.
Colombo: In a bizarre update on the Sri Lanka death toll, the country has revised the death toll and brought it down by a hundred. The health ministry in Sri Lanka said that the death toll in the Easter Sunday blast is at “about 253”.
BBC reported that the island country blamed a calculation error and difficulty in identifying victims as reason behind revised toll numbers.
Scores were killed and hundreds injured when suicide bombers struck hotels and churches in Colombo, Negombo and the eastern city of Batticaloa.
Most of those killed were Sri Lankans, but dozens of foreigners were also among the casualties.
Reports also suggest that Sri Lankan deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said that morgues had provided inaccurate figures.
Another official, the head of health services, told Reuters news agency that there had been so many body parts, it was "difficult to give a precise figure.''
BBC reported that according to the health ministry in Sri Lanka, all autopsies had been completed late on Thursday and it transpired that some victims had been counted more than once.
It further reported that revised figure comes at a time when the government is struggling to restore credibility. This amidst criticism of its apparent failure to respond to intelligence warning before the attacks.
The downward revision would mean that the Easter Sunday attack no longer ranks as the deadliest attack claimed by the Islamic State.
In a press briefing Ruwan Wijewardene had stated that nine suicide bombers had carried out the attacks, of which eight had been identified.
The authorities blamed a local Islamist extremist group that broke away from the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ). However, they are also probing to see if the bombers may have had outside help.
The Islamic State group said it was behind the attacks and published a video showing eight men. Authorities are probing the angle, but have not denied or accepted the claim.
Police say more than 70 people have now been arrested.
Last Updated 11:50 AM IST