The death toll from the seven explosions that ripped through Sri Lanka’s churches and hotels on Easter Sunday has shot up again to 215 with 500 injured. Among the dead are scores of tourists, believed to be American, British, Dutch, Danish, Chinese, Japanese, Pakistani, Moroccan and Indian. They have not been identified. No organization has taken responsibility for the atrocity. After an emergency cabinet meeting in Colombo, investigators were still groping in the dark, although Indian sources say the multiple attack on Christian worship, including at least two suicide attacks, bears all the hallmarks of the Islamic State,
The cabinet in emergency session initially responded by imposing a night curfew on all parts of Sri Lanka and shutting down access to the social media, in an attempt to restore a semblance of control. By afternoon, the government ordered all universities closed until further notice and the mail rail service suspended, apparently in expectation of more attacks. The defense ministry reported a raid on a home and the arrest of 7 people suspected of planning and executing the terrorist attacks. This report was greeted with general skepticism as an attempt to prove the authorities were in control. ...
Long War Journal:
The Islamic State has released three statements and a video claiming responsibility for the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
The first, a terse statement by Amaq News Agency, offered no details about the operation, saying simply that a security “source” told the group’s media arm that the so-called caliphate’s “fighters” had carried out the attacks.
The Islamic State subsequently released a longer statement, saying that 1,000 people were killed or injured in the orchestrated assault. That statement highlighted the fact that Christians were the intended target, as they are supposedly at war with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s enterprise. The statement also provides the aliases for several of the bombers.
Amaq News then produced a third statement, including a photo of the eight alleged perpetrators standing in front of the flag typically flown by the group. ...
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