24 arrested in Sri Lanka over deadly bomb attacks

At least 290 were killed in a series of explosions at churches and hotels

dpa, Hamburg, Germany

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Police have arrested at least 24 people in connection to a series of explosions in Sri Lanka which left at least 290 people dead and injured more than 450 others, officials said on Monday.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said that the individuals arrested, all locals, were being questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department.

The death toll increased with more deaths overnight at hospital and the detection of several bodies.

A dusk to dawn curfew imposed throughout the Indian Ocean island nation was lifted on Monday morning. Schools and universities will remain shut while the stock exchange has suspended trading until further notice.

As the investigations continued, fresh evidence was emerging that at least three of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers.

Authorities have so far located a van believed to have transported the bombers and the house where they stayed in the outskirts of capital Colombo.

Late on Sunday night, an improvised explosive device was found inside a plastic pipe close to the airport and defused, a spokesman for the Air Force said.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the multiple explosions. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would seek support from abroad to find out whether the attackers were linked to international terrorism.

The explosions took place during busy Easter services at Christian churches in the cities of Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo and in three five star hotels in the capital.

At least 35 foreigners are among those killed, while 19 more remain in hospital.


©2019 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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