A series of multiple explosions took place in South Asian island country Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, targeting major churches and five-star hotels. Three churches across the island nation and three hotels near the capital, Colombo, were hit with nearly simultaneous outbursts, the AP reported. Hours later, two more explosions went off on the outskirts of Colombo.
On this holy day, the deadly blasts ended up in killing at least 321 people, including a fifth-grader from Washington, DC, a British mother and her 2 children, a Coloradoan publishing employee, the 3 children of a Danish retail billionaire, and some police officers. Besides, more than 500 others were injured.
Monday has been a day of investigation, search, rescue, victim identification, and grief expressed worldwide.
There were 6 suicide bombers involved in the explosions. So far, more than 20 have been arrested in connection to the attacks and just this today, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. Global agencies such as the FBI and the Interpol are stepping in to assist in the investigation.
The authorities received warnings before the Sunday attacks. A Sri Lankan government minister claimed that US and Indian governments had warned of “something terrible,” but it’s unclear if any action was taken.
“Fourteen days before these incidents occurred, we had been informed,” Rajitha Senaratne, Sri Lankan politician and cabinet minister told a press conference on Monday. He also admitted that names of some of the suspects had been given to authorities earlier this month. “On April 9, the chief of national intelligence wrote a letter and in this letter many of the names of the members of the terrorist organization were written down.”
Continuing the mystery, police also discovered 87 bomb detonators at Colombo’s main bus station on Monday afternoon.
Mourning and condolences have been filling social media, especially Twitter where celebrities and world leaders shared their thoughts and feelings for such sorrowful events.
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
We are deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. We firmly condemn these odious acts. We stand by the people of Sri Lanka and our thoughts go out to the loved ones of the victims on this Easter Sunday. https://t.co/NytqQP9aE7
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 21, 2019
Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 21, 2019
My heart goes out to the victims & their families of the terror attacks in #SriLanka. Sincere condolences to everyone affected.
— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) April 22, 2019
Praying for Sri Lanka. Absolutely heart breaking waking up to news like this.
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) April 21, 2019
The pain-filled streets of Sri Lanka are now under an emergency island-wide curfew, and investigations continue. We can’t think of anything but to send out our prayers for the stricken country.