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Sri Lanka Terror Attack LIVE: HDK Tweets Condolence After Ministry Confirms Death of 5 K'taka Residents

News18.com | April 22, 2019, 11:14 PM IST
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Sri Lanka Terror Attack LIVE: The number of Indians dead in the devastating Sri Lanka blasts has risen to eight, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed on Twitter today. In a series of suicide blasts on Sunday, the island nation lost nearly 300 people.

An explosion went off on Monday in a van near a church in Sri Lanka's Kotahena area where scores were killed the previous day, when bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it, Reuters quoted a witness said. "The van exploded when the bomb defusing unit of the STF (Special Task Force) and air force tried to diffuse the bomb," the witness said. Police said that a suspicious parcel has been found at a fort. The area has been evacuated and officers are conducting investigations.
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Apr 22, 2019 11:14 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Day After Terror Attack, 87 Bomb Detonators Found at Bus Station in Colombo: Police

The police initially found 12 bomb detonators scattered on the ground. A further search revealed 75 more, a police statement said.

Apr 22, 2019 11:03 pm (IST)

Wellampitiya Police has successfully identified the suicide bomber who launched the attack at Shangri-La hotel as Insan Setiawan. This was revealed when the police presented facts before the court today, News 1st reported. The police also revealed that a copper factory belonging to the suspect was raided by security forces. Nine suspects were arrested during the raid and were presented before the Colombo Additional Magistrate. 

Apr 22, 2019 10:01 pm (IST)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday vowed that the US will continue fighting "radical Islamic terror" and the "evil human beings" perpetrating it as he condemned Sri Lanka's worst terror attacks that claimed 290 lives. Pompeo has said America will continue fighting "radical Islamic terror", which he said remained a threat following the attacks in Sri Lanka. "Sadly, this evil exists in the world," he told reporters on Monday. "This is America's fight, too."

Apr 22, 2019 9:50 pm (IST)

Queen Elizabeth Issues Statement | Queen Elizabeth issued a statement following the Easter Sunday attacks: "Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened to learn of the attacks in Sri Lanka and send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. I pay tribute to the medical and emergency services who are providing support to those who have been injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with all Sri Lankans at this difficult time".

Apr 22, 2019 9:36 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | 8 Indians killed in Easter Blasts in Sri Lanka, Says Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj

Seven suicide bombers believed to be members of an Islamist extremist group - the National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) - carried out a series of blasts on Easter Sunday, killing 290 people.

Apr 22, 2019 9:10 pm (IST)

At least four US nationals were killed in the coordinated suicide attacks across Sri Lanka yesterday, a US official has told CNN. It was unclear if the death toll includes the two US-UK nationals who were among the eight UK citizens that died in the attacks.

Apr 22, 2019 9:01 pm (IST)

Trumps Extends Support to Sri Lanka | US president Donald Trump called the Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday to express condolences to the Sri Lankan people. The attack is one of the deadliest terrorist events since 9/11. The Sri Lankan Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the President's concern and updated him on the progress of the investigation into the attacks. Trump has pledged support to Sri Lanka in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Apr 22, 2019 8:42 pm (IST)

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to condole the death another individual from his state. 

Apr 22, 2019 7:52 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Sri Lanka Attacks a Retribution For New Zealand Mosque Shooting, Says Ex Diplomat G Parthsarathy

Shedding some light on the Buddhist organisations becoming more and more anti-Islamic, former diplomat G Parthasarathy added that the phenomenon also existed in other Buddhist countries like Myanmar and Thailand.

Apr 22, 2019 7:28 pm (IST)

Officials of the Shangrila Hotel in Colombo where the terror attack took place on Sunday have said that a decision has been reached to close the hotel until further notice, News 1st reported. 

Apr 22, 2019 7:17 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Why New Wave of Terrorism May Strengthen Case for Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Next Lankan President

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's clan, which lost to Wickremesinghe in a failed coup just four months ago, has sensed a huge political opportunity in the current crisis.

Apr 22, 2019 7:05 pm (IST)

One US Citizen Killed in Attacks | The first US national to be named dead in the blasts in Sri Lanka was an employee of education publishing company Pearson, the Guardian reported. The company in a statement said their employee Dieter Kowalski, a senior leader of the company's operation services team, was killed in the terror attacks after he arrived at his hotel in Colombo. Pearson CEO John Fallon paid tribute to his “big-hearted and full-spirited” colleague in an open letter to staff.

Apr 22, 2019 6:54 pm (IST)

The UK foreign office has confirmed that eight British nationals were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks. The statement comes after the Sri Lankan high commissioner to the UK, Manisha Gunasekera, reported the deaths earlier on Monday.

Apr 22, 2019 6:40 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Best for Solo Trips, Top on Indians's List: How Bomb Carnage Has Cast Pall Over Lanka's Tourism Revival

India was the single largest source of visitors last year, with 425,000, while 266,000 came from China, Sri Lanka's newfound friend, and more than 254,000 from old colonial power Britain.

Apr 22, 2019 6:27 pm (IST)

The Road Development Authority of Sri Lanka has informed the media that vehicles using the expressways between 6 to 9 pm this evening can exit without paying a fee. On Sunday evening, the media reported that the traffic across Colombo city witnessed congestion, especially near the airport after the attack. This step indicates as a precautionary measure to ensure the free flow of traffic.

Apr 22, 2019 6:20 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Sri Lanka Says 'International Network' Helped Local Islamist Group Carry Out Blasts, Declares Emergency

Colombo: Sri Lanka said Monday it believed a local Islamist extremist group was behind deadly suicide bomb blasts that killed nearly 300 people as it announced a national state of emergency beginning midnight.

Apr 22, 2019 6:01 pm (IST)

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has informed the media that among those killed in the Sri Lanka blasts, seven have been found to be Indian nationals. 

Apr 22, 2019 5:57 pm (IST)

The wife and sister of the suicide bomber at the Shangri La Hotel in Sri Lanka were also killed in a separate suicide blast after a bomber blew himself up causing the concrete floor of a two-storey building to crash on them in a suburb in northern Colombo, PTI reported. 

Apr 22, 2019 5:42 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | US State Department Warns of More Terror Attacks in Sri Lanka, Issues Travel Advisory

It said possible targets included tourist locations, transportation hubs, shopping malls, hotels, places of worship, airports and other public areas.

Apr 22, 2019 5:31 pm (IST)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed “deep shock over the murderous attacks against innocent civilians in Sri Lanka.” In a statement released and tweeted on Sunday in the hours after the Easter attacks which left more than 200 dead, Netanyahu said that “Israel stands ready to assist the authorities in Sri Lanka at this difficult time.” “The entire world must unite in the battle against the scourge of terrorism,” he added.

Apr 22, 2019 5:25 pm (IST)

The Special Task Force officers told the media that the latest blast near the Colombo bus station in Kotahena was the controlled detonation of the bomb, News 1st reported. No casualties have been reported from the detonation.

Apr 22, 2019 5:22 pm (IST)

Sri Lanka Police Detain Youth Before Blast  | Following the discovery of a suspicious package out St Anthony's Church today, the Sri Lanka police had detained a youth in a green t-shirt, the Guardian reported. The police reportedly took his watch from him and searched under his clothes. Before they could haul him towards the police car, a mob blocked them and started beating the man. The police then had to shelter the detainee inside the nearest building. The 9th blast rocked the city a few minutes later.

Apr 22, 2019 5:09 pm (IST)

Inhuman Acts Could Never be Justified: Pope Francis | Pope Francis on Monday deplored the attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed nearly 300 people and called for universal condemnation of what he said were “terrorist acts, inhuman acts” that could never be justified. “I ask everyone not to hesitate to offer this dear nation all the help necessary. I hope that everyone condemns these terrorist acts, inhuman acts, never justifiable,” he said before leading the crowd at St. Peter’s Square to pray for the victims.

Apr 22, 2019 5:06 pm (IST)

First Hand Account | Akshat Saraf from India, 30, was in Colombo's Shangri-La Hotel with his wife and infant daughter when the explosions struck. He told CNN that it was a "horrific sight" to see huge chunks of glass on the bodies of fellow guests and white aprons of chefs drenched in blood after a suicide bomber struck a luxury hotel here. "First blast was very loud and our room started shaking. At first, I thought it was a thunderstorm and I didn't pay too much attention. It had been raining in Sri Lanka for some time," he told CNN. "It was the second blast when I sensed that something was not right," he said. Saraf said he and his family grabbed their passports and took the emergency exit to head to the ground floor.

Apr 22, 2019 4:59 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Day After Terror Attack, 87 Bomb Detonators Found at Bus Station in Colombo: Police

The police initially found 12 bomb detonators scattered on the ground. A further search revealed 75 more, a police statement said.

Apr 22, 2019 4:42 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Sri Lanka Declares State of Emergency as Terror Returns to Island Nation, in Effect from Midnight

The Sri Lankan government said the measure would be confined to dealing with terrorism and would not impinge on freedom of expression.

Apr 22, 2019 4:35 pm (IST)

The Sri Lankan police have found a suspicious parcel in the Fort area within the city of Colombo. The area has been evacuated and Police are conducting investigations, News 1st reported.

Apr 22, 2019 4:25 pm (IST)

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah asserted that his country is willing to provide assistance to the Sri Lankan government for rehab efforts after a coordinated wave of bombings in the island nation. “Malaysia strongly condemns the act of terrorism and urge that the perpetrators be brought to justice,” Malaysia Now reported him saying. 

Apr 22, 2019 4:20 pm (IST)

Another Blast Rocks Colombo on Monday | Colombo was rocked with a fresh explosion on Monday in a van near a church in Sri Lanka where scores were killed the previous day. Bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it when the bomb went off, news agency Reuters reported. "The van exploded when the bomb defusing unit of the STF (Special Task Force) and air force tried to diffuse the bomb," the witness told Reuters.

Apr 22, 2019 4:10 pm (IST)

INTERPOL Deploys Team To Sri Lanka | The International Criminal Police Organization, more commonly known as INTERPOL, is deploying an Incident Response Team to Sri Lanka at the request of national authorities to support the investigation into the series of bomb attacks at churches and hotels.

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Sri Lanka Terror Attack LIVE: HDK Tweets Condolence After Ministry Confirms Death of 5 K'taka Residents
Police officers work at the scene at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22 (Reuters)

Sri Lankan authorities have ordered a state of emergency to be introduced from midnight Monday following the deadly Easter attacks, the president's office said. The special measures are being brought in "to allow the police and the three forces to ensure public security," the statement said, referring to the army, navy and air force. It said the measure would be confined to dealing with terrorism and would not impinge on freedom of expression.

A local outfit identified as the National Tawheed Jamath is suspected of plotting the blasts, a top Sri Lankan minister said on Monday. Health Minister and the government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne, also said that all suicide bombers involved in the blasts are believed to be Sri Lankan nationals.

Speaking at a press conference here, the minister said that the Chief of National Intelligence had warned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) regarding the probable attacks before April 11.

"On April 4, international intelligence agencies had warned of these attacks. The IGP was informed on April 9," Senaratne said. He said that the local outfit identified as the National Tawheed Jamath - a radical Muslim group - is suspected of plotting the deadly explosions. "There may be international links to them," he added.

At least six Indians, including four JD(s) workers, have been killed in a string of eight powerful blasts, including suicide attacks, which struck three churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, officials said on Monday.

The blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels — the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.

The police said on Monday that at least six Indian nationals have been reported among the foreigners who died in the blasts.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday identified two more individuals killed in the blasts on Sunday. "We sadly confirm the deaths of the following two individuals in the blasts yesterday, KG Hanumantharayappa and M Rangappa," Swaraj retweetd Indian High Commission in Colombo's tweet.

On Sunday, Swaraj, in a series of tweets, identified the three Indians as Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. "Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals," she said in a tweet.

On Sunday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan identified a Keralite, PS Rasina (58), among those killed in the deadly bomb blasts.

Around 500 people, including Indians, were injured in the blasts — one of the deadliest attacks in the country's history. No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks.
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