Politics

Who Attacked Sri Lanka: Things We Know So Far

Who Attacked Sri Lanka
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Who Attacked Sri Lanka on Easter

Easter Sunday is typically a day of celebration, especially for those of the Christian faith. However, there is much sorrow in the nation of Sri Lanka after a series of bombings brought devastation and death. Details are still coming in regarding who attacked Sri Lanka and why.

Suicide Bombers Target Hotels and Churches

There was a total of 8 bomb blasts in Sri Lanka yesterday, killing 290 people. According to The Telegraph an additional 500 people were wounded in the fracas. As the news of the initial blasts began to spread it left many people wondering who attacked Sri Lanka and why.

Each of the bombs was set off by a suicide bomber, and they were detonated in busy buildings where there was an abundance of soft targets. The first three bombs were detonated in hotels in Columbo. The Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo were all rocked with blasts in rapid succession. While people in those areas were still reeling from shock and questioning who attacked Sri Lanka three more blasts rocked the city.

Besides the hotels, it seems the terrorists who attacked Sri Lanka also targeted churches. St Anthony’s Shrine, a well known tourist attraction in Columbo was hit by a blast during the morning service on Easter. Undoubtedly there was a large attendance, with Easter Sunday morning being reported among Christians as the most popular service for visitors to attend.

Attacks Were Well Planned

The initial 6 blasts took place in rapid succession, indicating a well timed and planned attack. The suicide bombers who attacked Sri Lanka were intent on taking as many lives as possible and they reportedly mingled in the crowds they intended to kill. One man is said to have stood in line at the breakfast buffet of the hotel he detonated his suicide vest in.

Several hours after the first explosions 2 more bombs were detonated in the outskirts of the city. Police said they believe the terrorists who attacked Sri Lanka intended to kill people indiscriminately. Men, women, and children were all injured and killed in the blasts, with civilians being the primary targets.

Each of the bombs was designed to cause maximum carnage as the blasts sent shrapnel outwards into the crowd. As of this morning, the death toll was nearing 300 people and authorities expect to add to that number as the day goes on. The suicide bombers who attacked Sri Lanka have cause pain and suffering to hundreds of families from around the world.

Who Were the Victims?

According to Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry there have been 11 foreigners identified among the dead following the attacks. One Portuguese, 2 Turkish, and 3 Indian citizens have all been identified as victims. Both a Dutch and Chinese national have also been found. There are at least 9 foreigners still reported missing in the aftermath of the blasts. The bombs used by the men who attacked Sri Lanka ripped through the crowds, not caring about nationality or creed.

A total of 8 British citizens were killed in the bombings, including 2 who also had US citizenship. A British mother and son were having breakfast at the Shangri La Columbo when the first bomb ripped through the restaurant. As the Nicholson family was dining, the explosion tore through the restaurant, killing both Alex (11) and Anita (42). Ben Nicholson, the boy’s father survived the blast, but his younger sister has not yet been found. The men who attacked Sri Lanka have also attacked many other countries in the world with this act.

Who Attacked Sri Lanka?

While no group has claimed responsibility for the bombings yet, the government has their own opinion. National Thowfeek Jamaath is a domestic militant group with ties to Muslim estremist terrorist activity. A government official stated that it is believed these are men who attacked Sri Lanka.

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated during a press conference that all of the bombers were Sri Lankan nationals. However, they are believed to be connected to foreign terrorist organizations. Ariyananda Welianga is a crime scene investigator in Sri Lanka. He stated that evidence examined at the scene definitely indicated that the bombs were detonated by suicide bombers. He also said that while mos of the attacks were carried out by a single bomber, there were 2 at the Shangri La. The men who attacked Sri Lanka planned and executed the attacks very carefully.

There was a Warning

Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara had issued a warning just 10 days prior to the attack. He told his top officers information regarding attacks on “prominent churches” had come to light. The bombers who attacked Sri Lanka were definitely the subject of this warning.

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo.” The warning was very clear regarding the imminent danger, yet it seems that precautions were not taken which could have stopped the bombers who attacked Sri lanka.  According to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the “information was there.” The PM also said “we must also look into why adequate precautions were not taken.”

What are the Next Steps?

The Sri Lankan government immediately stepped up security procedures following the bombings. The airport has an increased presence of security personnel and all law enforcement agencies are on high alert. There has also been an indefinite curfew placed on the entire country which is intended to help police maintain order. As the search for more members of the group who attacked Sri Lanka continues, security measures will probably only grow tighter.

We will keep you updated as more information comes in regarding who attacked Sri Lanka.