USA and UK expats killed in Sri Lanka bombings

Published:  22 Apr at 6 PM
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USA and UK embassies in Colombo have urged expats and tourists to follow local authorities’ instructions on keeping safe after the deadly Easter Sunday bombing attacks which killed up to 300 people.

The eight bombs set in upscale hotels and churches were the deadliest violent attacks since the end of the country’s civil was in 2009, with the death toll at present exceeding 290 and over 500 injured. At the present time, it’s still not clear which group or person set the bombs, although 24 Sri Lankan citizens have been arrested. Some 35 foreigners including eight Britons and two Americans are amongst the dead, although it’s not clear whether they were expatriates or visitors.

Major social media sites have been blocked in order to prevent misinformation being circulated, and the overnight curfew instigated immediately after the explosions has now been withdrawn. Three churches were bombed as Easter Day services were taking place, and the hotels affected are the Shangri-La, the Kingsbury and the Cinnamon Grand. As police were carrying out raids in Dehiwala and Dematagoda, further explosions killed three officers, and another bomb was discovered and defused at Colombo’s international airport.

According to the bomb disposal squad, the device was home made, resembled a crude two-metre long pipe bomb, and was found on the roadside. According to Sri Lanka’s defence minister, it’s likely the bombers were religious extremists and the explosions were the work of suicide bombers, adding security services had been aware an attack was likely, but no-one in the government had been informed.
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