The Easter Sunday blasts across Sri Lanka have taken the lives of at least 359 people and injured over 500 others. The Special Task Force carried out a controlled explosion near Savoy Cinema in Colombo after a vehicle that was found abandoned came under their suspicion.
Colombo: The death toll from the Easter Sunday blasts across churches and hotels in Sri Lanka has touched 359. A Special Task Force (STF) team has carried out a controlled explosion near Savoy Cinema in Colombo after a vehicle that was found abandoned came under their suspicion.
The STF personnel were unable to open the boot of the vehicle and resorted to a controlled explosion to eliminate any possible threat, said Minister of Defence & Mass Media Ruwan Wijewardena.
Reuters reported that police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera released the death toll but did not give a breakdown of casualties from the three churches and four hotels hit by the suicide bombers.
On Tuesday, reports surfaced stating that the attacks had been carried out by the Islamic State militant group.
If the Islamic State claim is indeed true, then the Sri Lanka blasts would make it one of the worst attacks carried out by them outside Iraq and Syria.
Unconfirmed reports claim that one more Indian has been killed but the identity of the victim is yet to be determined.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo confirmed that at least 10 Indians had been killed in Sunday’s serial blasts.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier said that officials on the ground were identifying the victims.
Eight of the 10 dead are from Karnataka, including seven members of a JD(S) team, who were on vacation in Colombo.
While six of the JD(S) workers were declared dead on Monday, a seventh member, Puttaraju, 37, was confirmed dead on Tuesday.
A city-based businessman Nagaraj Reddy, 46, who was critically injured in the blast and under treatment, succumbed to injuries.
The tenth victim has been identified as Vemuri Tulsi Ram, 35, from Hyderabad, who was killed at the Shangri-La hotel.
A woman from Kerala is also one of the Indians to have lost her life in the dastardly attacks.
On Tuesday night, Home minister MB Patil at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru received the bodies of several Indians including four of the seven JD(S) workers who were on vacation.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told reporters that Indian agencies informed them in advance about the attack plot but lapses within Colombo led to the failure in preventing the attack.
Last Updated 12:09 PM IST