Amidst heightened tensions in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday suicide bomber attacks on the island state that killed over 350 people and left over 500 injured, another blast has been reported from a vacant land behind the magistrate’s court in the town of Pugoda, 40 km east of the capital Colombo. Police said investigations are underway.
Reuters: Blast heard in Pugoda town, 40 km east of Sri Lankan capital Colombo
— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2019
The Sri Lankan police have also confirmed that it was not a controlled blast like the day before when they found a bomb that had not detonated and had carried out a controlled blast after failing to dispose of the bomb.
On Sunday, the terrorist group targeted Easter worshipers and high-end hotels hosting international guests with coordinated explosions. The series of blasts was carried out across 8 locations in three different cities including Colombo. St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and a church in the eastern town of Batticaloa were targeted during Easter mass.
Further, three more explosions hit Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury, all five-star hotels. Scores of foreigners and locals injured in these blasts were admitted to Colombo General Hospital.
According to the details which unfolded gradually, the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the dastardly attack.
According to the latest reports, two Muslim brothers carried out two of the suicide bombings in two hotels rocking the island country on Sunday. Investigators have not revealed the names of ‘both bothers,’ however, divulged that they were sons of a wealthy Colombo spice trader.
Earlier, it was reported that the bomber of Shangri-La was identified as Zahran Hashim. Another suicide bomber was named as Abu Mohammad who targeted the Batticaloa church. They were among other suicide bombers to hit three churches and three luxury hotels. The attack on the fourth hotel failed, leading the police to the now-banned Islamist group.
Outrage over the terror attack rose after the government admitted that a major intelligence lapse from the Sri Lankan government’ side led to the dastardly blasts and thereafter asked two of its top security officials to resign.
The Sri Lankan government had also confirmed ‘National Thowheed Jama’ath’ (NTJ) as the local organisation responsible for these deadly terrorist attacks. However, it has also expressed possibilities about the involvement of an international group to execute colossal attacks of this magnitude.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Defence Minister has revealed that these serial blasts were carried out in ‘retaliation’ to the Christchurch attack in New Zealand.
Note: This is a developing story and we will update this article when more details emerge.