Bombs tear through Sri Lankan churches and hotels, killing 290 people - English Version of Pharak Sandesh

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Bombs tear through Sri Lankan churches and hotels, killing 290 people

Colombo, 22 April : The calm of Easter Sunday was shattered by gruesome bombings that killed at least 290 people in Sri Lankan churches and hotels.

Though it's not clear who's behind the eight explosions that forced the country of 21 million people to go on lockdown, they are "certainly acts of terror," said Manisha Gunasekera, high commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK.

An intelligence memo warning of a possible attack had circulated 10 days earlier, raising questions about whether more preventative measures could have been taken.

"Serious action need to be taken as to why this warning was ignored," Sri Lanka's Minister of Telecommunications, Harin Fernando, tweeted along with a photo of the memo. The document, titled "Information of an alleged plan attack," is dated April 11 and signed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Priyalal Dissanayake.

The explosions blew out the tiled roofs of churches and hotel windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in the process.

"This is an attack against the whole of Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka is (a) multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country, and the whole country comes together in celebration of Easter Sunday," Gunasekera said.

The violence punctured a decade of relative peace in the country following the end of its civil war in 2009 -- where attacks were common during the 25-year struggle.

Since then, Sri Lanka has turned itself into a popular tourist destination, winning the title of best place in the world to visit in 2019 from travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.(CNN)

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