The Sri Lanka Police have confirmed that the death toll from bomb blasts that happened at churches and luxury hotels has increased to 290, this is one of the country’s worst attacks for more than a decade.
According to reports, more than 500 people were injured in the Easter Sunday assault that saw suicide bombers hit three high-end hotels popular with foreign tourists and three churches, unleashing carnage in Colombo and beyond.
Two additional blasts were triggered as security forces carried out raids searching for suspects.
The government is wary of stirring ethnic tensions, and the country remained on edge as a home-made bomb was defused at Colombo airport late Sunday and massive security deployed.
A nationwide curfew imposed shortly after the blasts was lifted early Monday, but the government has ordered a two-day holiday and schools and the Colombo stock exchange were closed. Still, a steady stream of people and vehicles were seen on the streets of the capital and Negombo.
The attacks were the worst ever carried out against Sri Lanka’s small Christian minority, who make up just seven percent of the 21 million population.
At least 37 foreigners were among the dead, the foreign ministry said.
The government said three Indians, three Britons, two from Turkey and one Portuguese had died, as well as two people holding both British and US passports.
“Additionally, while nine foreign nationals are reported missing, there are 25 unidentified bodies believed to be of foreigners,” the foreign ministry said.