Following the serial blasts in Colombo that killed at least 290, the Sri Lankan police on Monday found 87 bomb detonators in Colombo's main bus stand. One bomb exploded near Anthoniyar, while operations were underway to defuse it. Security around the border, towards the Indian side has been tightened
Colombo: While the joyous Easter Sunday was awaited by Christians around the world, Sri Lanka saw eight serial blasts that killed at least 290 people and injuring more than 500. On Monday, the local police found 87 bomb detonators at Colombo’s main bus station and one more blast took place in a van as authorities were defusing a bomb. No injuries were reported.
“A van parked near a Sri Lankan church that was bombed on Easter Sunday has exploded, but no injuries have been reported,” news agency Associated Press (AP) tweeted on Monday.
Police believe that at least two of the blasts were suicide bombings at churches and hotels.
Security forces are now conducting searches across the island to nab the culprits. No group has claimed responsibility so far.
Health minister and the government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne, stated that all suicide bombers involved in the blasts are believed to be Sri Lankan nationals.
On Sunday, Seven suicide bombers were involved in eight blasts that targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in Negombo and Zeon Church in Batticaloa when the Easter Sunday mass was in progress. The explosions also struck three five-star hotels in Colombo — the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury.
No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks, but police have so far arrested 24 people. However, according to reports a top minister stated that a local outfit identified as the National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) is suspected of plotting the deadly Easter blasts in the worst terror attack in the country's history.
However, the government has decided not to disclose the details of the suspects involved in the attacks to prevent them from getting publicity.
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena will declare a nationwide national emergency from midnight on Monday (April 22).
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is on high alert along the maritime boundary with Sri Lanka to prevent the escape of perpetrators behind the series of explosions, ANI news agency reported. Ships and maritime surveillance aircraft Dornier have been deployed on the maritime border.
Earlier, the Sri Lanka Air Force said it found an improvised explosives device along a road leading to the departure terminal at the Colombo international airport Sunday night.
Sri Lankan Airlines said there were disruptions to flights and has asked leaving passengers to report to the check in counters at least four hours prior to departure because of tight security checks at the Colombo international airport.
One woman from Kerala has also been confirmed dead. Five JD(S) members from Bengaluru have been confirmed dead in the blasts.
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Last Updated Apr 22, 2019, 7:01 PM IST