Over 320 people are known to have died in a series of bomb blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21, in the worst violence to hit the island since its devastating civil war ended a decade ago.
The Islamic State group on April 23 claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group presented no immediate evidence for the claim.
Eight apparently coordinated explosions targeted Easter worshippers and high-end hotels popular with international guests.
The explosions came hours after it was revealed that an improvised bomb discovered at the main airport in Colombo had been defused.
A nationwide curfew imposed shortly after the blasts was lifted April 22, but in the city of Negombo there was still a heavy security presence at St. Sebastian’s Church, the scene of one of the blasts.
Sri Lanka’s small Christian minority — just 6% of the 21 million-strong population — has been targeted by violence in the past, but never to such brutal effect.
Sri Lanka said seven of the explosions were carried out by suicide bombers, all Sri Lankan citizens. Police have detained at least 40 people.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said one of its nationals was among those who died. The dead national was a woman identified as Kaori Takahashi, a local resident, according to a Kyodo News report. (AFP-Jiji)