Sultanate condemns terrorist attack in Sri Lanka

Clay Curtis
April 23, 2019

Meanwhile, speaking to the Daily Mirror, Director of the National Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said eleven foreign nationals from Poland, Denmark, China, Japan, Pakistan, USA, India, Morocco and Bangladesh are among the dead at the National Hospital.

A police spokesperson said 104 were killed in Negombo, 68 were killed in Colombo, 28 died in Batticaloa, and seven died in Ragama. But the three bombed hotels and one of the churches, St. Anthony's Shrine, are frequented by foreign tourists, and Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreigners from a variety of countries were recovered.

"In light of the events resulting in mass casualties in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the NYPD has implemented heightened security measures", said NYPD spokesman Sgt. Brendan Ryan.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. nationals were among those killed, but did not give details.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urged all Sri Lankans to remain calm and united.

The UK Foreign Office has not yet confirmed the deaths, but British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, said some British citizens were also "caught in the blast". The country's Muslims have been in the crosshairs of many militant groups, he wrote.

At least eight explosions, some of which were suicide bombs, were reported on Sunday morning across Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the string of deadly blasts in Sri Lanka and offered full help to the Island nation in its times of crisis and stated that "there is no place for barbarism in the region". Gunasekera said the police suspected a suicide attack there. The bombs blew out the tiled roofs of churches, killing worshippers in the process.

Local media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on an evangelical church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

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Hotels affected were the Cinnamon Grand and Shangri-La Hotel as well as the Kingsbury Hotel, all in Colombo.

The final blast struck a private house in Mahawila Gardens, in Dematagoda, during a raid in connection with the attacks, officials said. "Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation", Wickremesinghe tweeted. "The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation".

Who is behind the attack?

Amarasingam, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, further explained that the country's population comprises of 12.6 percent Sri Lankan Tamils and 5.6 percent Indian Tamils, most of whom are Hindus, and speak Tamil.

The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked a year ago to the vandalisation of Buddhist statues.

US President Donald tweeted his condolences on the "horrible terrorist attacks", and Pope Francis in his Easter address at the Vatican spoke of his "affectionate closeness with the Christian community, attacked while it was at prayer".

"For millions of people around the world, Easter is a time to reflect on Jesus' message of compassion and kindness-a time to come together with friends and family".

"We have not had any separatist movements in the past 10 years and this came as a shock to all of us", he said.

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