Sri Lanka serial blast: ISIS claims responsibility for coordinated bombings that killed 321

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Updated: April 23, 2019 6:31:04 PM

Ten 10 days before the deadly attack, Sri Lanka police chief had alerted that that suicide bombers were planning to target 'prominent churches'. However, he had named local Muslim group National Thowheeth Jama'ath in his intel report.

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The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the coordinated serial blasts that killed 321 people and injured about 500 others in Sri Lanka on Sunday, April 21, Reuters reported citing the terror group’s AMAQ news agency. However, the banned terror organisation did not give evidence for its claim.

“Those who carried out the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday is Islamic State group fighters,” a statement released by ISIS through ‘Amaq’ said, as reported by the Site Intelligence Group.

Ten 10 days before the deadly attack, Sri Lanka police chief had alerted that that suicide bombers were planning to target ‘prominent churches’. However, he had named local Muslim group National Thowheeth Jama’ath in his intel report.

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” Jayasundara had stated in the report.

So far, the Sri Lankan authorities have arrested 40 suspects including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers. Sri Lanka police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera while informing about the development said: “26 of them (arrested suspects) are with the CID, three are being held by the Terrorism Investigation Division. Nine of them have been already remanded and two are being held at a Colombo south police station.”

A series of bomb blast ripped through Colombo on Sunday. The coordinated bombings targeted three Catholic churches, three luxury hotels and one housing complex in the island nation. The bombs blew up the Cinnamon Grand, the Shangri La and the Kingsbury hotels in Colombo. The blast claimed 320 lives and wounded 500 others. At least 38 foreigners, including 10 Indian nationals, died in the worst attacks.

Last night, the Sri Lankan government imposed emergency regulations that granted the security forces powers to detain and interrogate suspects without obtaining warrants.

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